Posted by: kerrywills | May 3, 2013

Trust but verify

Ronald Regan was famous for saying “trust but verify”, and it means that while a source of information might be considered reliable, one should perform additional research to verify that such information is accurate or trustworthy. This is true for all program information, and it is the responsibility of the Program Manager to ensure that the information is accurate since decisions and actions will be based on it. For example, a Program Manager may have schedule updates from their Project Managers but how will they know that a milestone is really 80% complete?  While they should trust their PMs, they should also look for ways to confirm (with facts) that their forecast is accurate.


Staying on top of activities, having the right performance metric such as schedule tracking or financial tracking, conducting peer reviews and having open discussions with team members are all ways to verify information. Again this shouldn’t be viewed as a lack of trust but rather using facts to validate information. Just as Program Managers need to use this technique for their Project Managers, these Project Managers should be using it with their team members.

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