The 3 bad C’s to avoid in projects

Three things that will drag your project to the underworld

It’s time to don the black mask and cape to fight the bad C’s in projects. Ok. The mask is optional, but the cape is a must.

The list assembled for your assistance are the things that, with project management on your side, can be avoided. I draw attention to them here so that you can either bathe in the glory of your project greatness because you don’t have these elements in your projects, or prepare to take action to deal with the bad C’s.


Project management brings an approach of order and sense to ensure that everyone knows what is to be done, when, why and with what. Without such a ‘framework’ to operate within there is a distinct possibility that chaos will reign. Projects always break new ground, even if it’s only a little new ground. With that, some believe that projects are always chaotic and that there is no benefit or way to control them. To that, I always respond that there is always a way – you just need to be a little creative sometimes. Chaos is the state of things happening with no given purpose. Everything done in a project should have a purpose, otherwise why is the work being done? Every action should be something that helps either tackle an obstacle or be a direct step towards the finish line.
Just because people look busy doesn’t mean the project is becoming more complete. Just because someone is running, doesn’t mean they’re running in the right direction.


Check what is happening and why. Bring order to the game.


If there’s something that really turns my stomach it’s corruption in projects. This can come from anywhere in the project and can manifest in different ways. Commercial terms and conditions have evolved over time (particulary the NEC packages) to help foster and open and honest relationship between customers and suppliers. However, corruption doesn’t obey the laws of black and white print.
Corruption ultimately has the aim of providing a benefit to a person, or group of people, which will either sacrifice the project as a whole or some of the participants within it. If there’s a dodgy car park deal going on in a project, don’t tolerate it.

There may be corrupt members of the leadership team who want to bring you on board and offer incentives to do things which will benefit them rather than the overall work. It’s best to steer clear of such engagements. Agenuine culture of openness and honest will leave corruption with nowhere to hide and that makes it much easier to sleep at night. Fostering trust in your team, or your client, is a much healthier relationship to have, rather than trying to make little wins on the side or doing dodgy deals. Keep it clean.


In the context of this blog, cowardice is not standing up for what matters, when it matters.
This includes bad mouthing people behind their backs. If you have a problem with someone, let them know. Obviously, do it in a helpful way, but don’t talk about them to others – that won’t help. This includes everyone on your team, from fellow team members, to suppliers and the customer. Don’t tolerate it in your teams. Help people address their problems with each other. The sooner the better.
Cowardice also includes not asking for help when you need it. Everyone needs help. And allowing someone to help you often makes them feel better because they had something useful to offer.
Blaming others also comes under cowardice. Don’t waste time pointing fingers.


There is little advantage to be gained from blaming others. If there is a problem, seek is out and work it out. Then move on. Taking time to point out flaws in other people is a waste of time. Capitalise on strengths, supplement weaknesses. Get better together.

Your projects

How do your projects compare to the three C’s? I hope you’ve got a squeaky clean bill of health! If you need any tips to help resolve chaos, corruption or cowardice in your projects then drop us a line!

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