Guerilla Project Management:
Give your banana to a friend

by Doug DeCarlo, Principal
The Doug DeCarlo Group

I'm convinced that it is getting harder and harder these days to practice any semblance of what might be labeled "traditional project management." Even the so-called light or extreme project management methods are falling apart in most organizations I go into.

Why is this? Ginny, an experienced drug industry project manager who leads clinical trial projects, hit it on the head: "I spend my whole day prioritizing crises. It's a jungle in here."

With too many projects chasing too few people, everybody's running around in fire drill mode. You're lucky if you can even get three people to regroup for 15 minutes at the end of the day. (What end of the day?)

The Guerilla Shows Up
This crisis modus operandi shifts the project manager's energy (and that of the entire team) from how to manage the project to how to survive another day. When teams heed nature's call and default to their survival instincts, the best-intended project management methodologies and training go up in smoke. This is why, for many project managers, Guerilla Project Management (GPM) has become the de facto project management methodology of choice.

What's your favorite Guerilla PM tactic? Throw a friend a banana.
Yes, this is your opportunity to help a friend, another project manager blood brother and sister, get through the jungle. Give 'em your banana. How? E-mail that banana to me. I'll help you get the word out. If you don't have a favorite GPM banana, think of a banana someone else has used. (Perhaps on you.)

Don't know where to start? Hey, I'm here to help. Look at the triggers below. They represent the 8 Guerrilla Project Management Bananas of Knowledge (the GPM BOK for short.) Use these triggers to unleash your best, how-to-get-em banana tactic:
  1. Scapegoating: Where to find your scapegoats and how to build them in throughout the entire project life cycle.
  2. Negotiation: I win / you lose negotiation tips.
  3. Relationship management: The customer is always wrong. Here's how you can prove it.
  4. Communications: How to tell stakeholders "yes," but get away with doing "no."
  5. Estimating tips: Figures lie and liars figure... How to hide the fudge where they'll never look.
  6. Tracking: Software recipes for cooking the project books.
  7. Status reporting: Just say, "Everything's fine."... How to make your body language congruent with your words.
  8. Management: Know your sponsor and lead that team... Tips for how to kiss up and kick down.
Don't see a category for your favorite GPM BOK tactic? Then start one. GPM is evolving rapidly. Careful where you throw the peels.

eXtremely yours,


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