Project Management Tip – Chasing Your Tail

by Drew Stevens, Ph.D.

For almost 40 years I have had dogs in my life. I love their personality, their love and their habits. To that end, two of my dogs Holly and Wags when bored or in a very playful mood As a Project Manager are You Chasing Your Tailwould chase their tail. Tail chasing is common in puppies that do not know it is attached or adult dogs because of some behavioral or neurological order.

With over 30 years of practice management activity I see many PM’s chasing their tails.

Project Managers behavior to chase their tail is driven by:

  • Fear
  • Elimination of Risk
  • Lack of Knowledge

To augment tail chasing and irrational behavior you must begin to:

  • Seek advice from those you trust
  • Ignore unsolicited feedback
  • Ensure vendors you choose offer value and not “false promises”
  • Ensure that outside help illustrates output and results not just facts
  • Have assistance that holds you accountable and walks you through processes
  • Has a track record

A Project Manager whose projects are not closing must find help they can trust and have a track record of success. Finding the right help will take time and energy but at least the end result will be worth it. By not finding the right help and getting no results you simply chase your tail. Are you chasing yours?

If you found these tips from Drew Stevens, Ph.D. of value and are a PMP looking to earn PMI PDUs, you might be interested in his self-paced, downloadable courses at


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