Are corporate program managers too risk-averse?

Wed 23 July 2008

I've been pondering this series of polls I've been running and wrote the following paragraph:

Standing in opposition for this need for high productivity is risk: risk of major delay, risk of a show-stopping technical incompatibility, risk of embracing a tool or technique that is reaching the end of its evolution. These types of risks can have huge costs, and it's very reasonable for project managers to decide to be conservative, especially when it comes to critical infrastructure components.

But then I was stuck. In the next paragraph I'd like to be a little more prescriptive. But what do corporate program managers need to hear? Do they need to hear "Hey! Don't go chasing after yet another shiny new toy!" or do they need to hear "Go for it! You can take a little risk on the technology for a prototype or a one-off or an administrative automation tool"?

Of course, I'll try to make both points, but which should I emphasize?

Give your answer in the following poll (which, if you're reading in an aggregator, you probably can't see unless you follow it to my site):