Is Your Project Haunted?

Is Your Project Haunted?

As we approach Halloween this year, let’s consider – could these project be haunted? Old techniques for project management may have worked for you before but, don’t always work for everything and may never work again. Resurrecting them may seem like a good idea, but is often a symptom of complacency and can lead to zombie project nightmares.

 Those old project skeletons in the closet may seem to be the comfortable path to take because no one likes change, and they once worked successfully in the past. So, the project becomes haunted by your laziness. Maybe you are just “phoning it in” based and ignoring new tech or new best practices. Or you may be overlooking issues that are pointing you to a different (and less haunted) solution for the project.


Using practices that don’t make sense anymore? 

Complacency. That word just seems to evoke ghosts of Halloweens past. Trying to take the easy way – boo! It can lead to a very painful and scary outcome. Maybe you have five projects going at once and the old ways look like an easy fix to just get by using old templates to start from that are similar but not quite right. That can be a huge mistake and leave you in a position of missing some work, some revenue opportunities, or skipping a deliverable altogether. And that is a nightmare– leaving you with a disappointed customer at the end of the day. All these are potential outcomes or oversights. Haunted? Yes… sort of.

Managing the team the wrong way? 

Our project teams are full of highly specialized individuals – very talented (hopefully) at what they do. Structured project management is different than it was 10 or 20 years ago. Better for the most part. There are definitely more tools available. There are definitely more documented practices, more and better best practices, more experienced team members, and more experienced project leaders. It’s dangerous to be “old school.” You will be eaten alive by project clients and maybe even your own stakeholders.

 Trying to manage your team with old management practices and without a collaboration tool is like entering a haunted house and never finding the exit. Your team won’t be on the same page and you may have trouble gaining their respect and confidence. As a result, imagine the utter horror of not being able to deliver to a happy project customer even though you thought you were doing the right thing by doing what you’ve always done on similar projects.


Expecting your customer to just let you run with it? 

Are you expecting the customer to just hand you money and jump out of the way? Sounds like something out a fairy tale. We aren’t talking fairy tales here – we are talking about ghost stories… only they are the bad dreams that you created on your own with no one else to blame. Customers want more for less, have tighter budgets, and are more involved because they want to manage project outcomes more closely.

 For the most part, you want that as well. You need that customer available when information, an explanation, or a decision is needed. You need that customer’s attention. Today, more than likely, you will have it. Get used to it – it’s a good omen that keeps the ghouls away.



Each project needs to be planned afresh each time. Requirements need to be thoroughly vetted and risks need to properly analyzed to keep your projects out of the haunted house. Complacency and laziness have no place in managing projects and serving the project customer. Step up the game with your attention and modern tools to keep the bats out of the belfry of your projects.

Online 10/26/2022
Brad Egeland
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