Is 'The Apprentice' giving project management a bad name?

Is 'The Apprentice' giving project management a bad name?

Is the programme good publicity for the profession?  Some may argue that it has put project management in the public domain, it is seen weekly by millions of people and that any publicity is good publicity.

Others contend that the quality, ability and effectiveness of many participants who act as project managers on the series are so poor that all they do is lend the profession to ridicule.

Would you be proud to tell your children watching the programme that you are a project manager and that the project managers on this show are examples of what you do at work?

Has anyone actually seen any elements of project management competency on display?  

Perhaps the contestants should be given a brief induction into what formal project management is about when they join the show.They should be told to:

  1.  Listen  to the brief, to your colleagues, and  to the experts
  2.  Plan the work at the start
  3.  Develop a work breakdown structure
  4.  Prepare a schedule
  5.  Prepare a cost and revenue budget 
  6.  Clarify roles and responsibilities
  7.  Make sure the team understand and share the project objectives 
  8.  Facilitate discussion, bring out everyone’s ideas and develop a consensus
  9.  Manage your stakeholders
  10. Look at the risks – prepare a plan B

There is no doubt about the entertainment value of the show but one might have serious reservations about its impact on the image of the project management profession.

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