Of course, second and subsequent button pushes add no value at all, but when an elevator arrives after someone pushed the button six times, they truly believe it made a difference. Some people need to feel in control, even if they aren't.
ABPS can be found in the workplace, too.
When a project is running behind schedule or over budget, it's the equivalent of a slow responding elevator.
Project managers with ABPS may demand additional meetings or more frequent reports from the project team. Time and money could be better spent working on the project deliverables, but these resources are diverted to placate the manager's need for control --to the detriment of the project.
Unfortunately, when the project is eventually delivered, the project manager believes all of the extra reports and meetings helped achieve the outcome. But correlation is not the same as causation. Unfortunately, there is no easy way of measuring how much sooner the project would have finished if the resources had not been diverted by the manager's ABPS.
This isn't a clear-cut situation. It's easy to go from requesting useful information that will help inform decisions to a situation where the requested reports and meetings are actually counterproductive.
The next time you are considering requesting more reports or extra meetings, think about ABPS. Will the diversion from the project's work be constructive or detrimental?
Do you know of project managers who suffer from ABPS in the workplace? How did it affect the project outcome?