This is a little something I did in some spare time and if you’re a project manager who’s a parent then you’ll definitely recognise the behaviour!
1 client (child) says they would like a sandwich
2 project manager(mum) goes back to client and asks what type of sandwich. client says ‘something nice’
3 Project Manager(PM) suggests peanut butter. Client informs PM that they hate peanut butter
4 PM Asks client what they would like instead then. Client says ‘ something nice but not peanut butter’
5 PM decides to check the cupboard and see what’s available
6 Client says ‘where’s my sandwich?’. PM informs client that they haven’t decided what they want yet
7 Client says ‘oh yeah’ and still doesn’t decide
8 PM calls project meeting with client to feedback the options
9 Client doesn’t like any of them and questions why they are paying their PM a fortune to under achieve
10 Client informs PM that they have just met someone at a networking group (school) who really likes baked bean and banana sandwiches
11 PM informs client that they won’t like baked bean and banana sandwiches because they are squidgy and the client hates bananas
12 Client informs PM that they are the client and they’ll have what they want. As an aside they mention that their networking(school) friend has a PM (mum) who always gives them what they want
13 PM asks client if they want their bread buttered, client promises to get back to PM
14 PM gathers together bread, bananas, two knives(in case one is ineffective), a tin of baked beans, a tin opener, a plate and an assistant PM (little brother)
15 PM asks client if they want their bread buttered, client promises to get back to them. PM Points out that this is a critical path item and work will stop until a decision is reached. Client turns volume up on TV so that they can’t hear what the PM is saying
16 PM tasks APM with skinning a banana. PM selects 2 slices of bread and puts them on the plate. APM begins to pick nose whilst staring out of the window.
17 PM carries out a load test of the knives to make sure they work and starts making a training plan for sandwich eating, puts washing into machine and loads dishwasher.
18 Client calls into the kitchen and asks where the sandwich is. PM informs client that they still haven’t made a decision over the critical path item (bread buttering)
19 Client asks what resource the PM was thinking of using to carry out the operation. PM informs client that APM is pencilled in to do it
20 Client goes ‘humph’ and walks away without making a decision
21 PM explains to APM that nose picking is not optimal for this project and sends them to wash hands
22 Client suggests crisis meeting in which they explain that they are very disappointed not to see the project progress any further. PM explains that the team are eager to progress but are waiting on the mission critical decision on bread buttering. Client says that he can’t understand why the PM hasn’t made such a simple decision themselves. After all their friends PM(mum) would have already done this by now. Explains that they are considering changing PMs as a result. Client decides to take more control of the project and fires APM who is singing in the bathroom. Client decides to butter half of the bread and tells PM that ‘it wasn’t so hard after all, was it?’. Goes to watch power rangers.
23 PM butters remaining bread, skins and mashes banana, puts banana into bread opens beans puts beans onto bread puts top on sandwich cuts into four squares and delivers to client. APM stops singing in bathroom and asks why they have been fired.
24 Client informs PM that they didn’t want it cut into squares as they are no longer a child. PM points to project scope document and says that this was not specified and does not affect the operation of the deliverables. Client makes dissatisfaction with PMs performance known.
25 PM begins training plan by telling client to ‘eat your sandwich and shut up’
26 Client informs PM that they hate bananas and asks why the PM thought it appropriate to provide a squidgy sandwich when they hate squidgy sandwiches. PM explains to client that this was noted on the project risks document right at the start and they would have appreciated some feedback before beginning work.
27 Client informs PM in a full and frank exchange of views that they are in fact the worst PM in the entire world. Further, they are stupid and smell too. They wonder why they didn’t use their networking (school) friends PM who always makes great sandwiches.
28 PM removes the application (sandwich) and places it in a secure offline storage facility(bin). Client decides that a cooling off period(sulk) is appropriate
29 Client contacts PM and explains about a great idea they have for a further project for a tuna and honey sandwich and suggests forcefully that, as the PM performed so poorly in the last project that they complete this new improved project ahead of their other projects (little brother’s sandwich) only ‘much better this time’ as recompense.
30 PM explains to client that they have a large amount of projects (washing, cleaning, ironing) to carry out before they feed ungrateful children. Suggests developing an in house capacity (‘do it yourself’) or failing that utilising the services of their networking (school) friend’s PM.