Remember the profound human aversion to micromanagement

Most project management software comes with inherent problems.

First, the majority of these programs are far too complex and cumbersome for the average person to use. Even if people do enroll in the system, they typically spend a few weeks getting all their tasks organized, but once they realize that it’s actually creating more work than they’re completing, they quickly abandon the platform for something simpler and more lightweight and low tech.

Like a sticky note or a spreadsheet.

Some other process that better jives with their work style.

Juvenal, the legendary poet, famously asked the question:

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

Who guards the guards?

That’s another problem. Nobody wants to manage the manager. It compresses their schedule into an infinite vortex of interruptions, which beautifully preserves the illusion of productivity, but doesn’t accomplish meaningful work. Remember, complexity is attractive because it feels like progress.

The other thing is, on any given team, there are always a few rebels who out rightly refuse to get on board with the system. This makes collaboration a huge pain in the ass and creates animosity within the group.

Speaking as a rebel myself, being a conscientious objector isn’t a great way to build team cohesion.

But the most significant flaw in these systems is, they fail to take into account the profound human aversion to micromanagement.

Think about it. Each time you fire up that app or receive a notification, every single goddamn task is just sitting there, silently bearing down on you, while every inch of your progress is perfectly quantified for all to see.

Truth is, long lists are guilt trips. And the longer the list of unfinished items, the worse you feel about it. And at a certain point, you just stop looking at it because it makes you feel bad.

This creates anxiety, not accomplishment. 

Victory Logs might be a better tool for you.

Which of your systems are more of a hindrance than a help?


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