PM is about planning, and the way we do this isn’t different than any other planning. The elements that make PM important are those where we plan with what we hope to control, where we plan with what we hope to avoid, or where we don’t plan at all. For example, PMs spend time, effort and resources on planning out steps to reach project goals. We spend time, effort, and resources on planning out steps to reach our goals, but we don’t spend time, effort, and resources on planning new steps. As on a PRINCE2 Course Dublin qualification.
Yes, we are always looking at new project and new ways to get things done. But at the same time we are always looking for a way to do those things better, faster, more efficiently. It’s about being able to control success and control flow….
That’s a lot of those ” additives ” we add. Ball bearings are no different. PM is about identifying negative consequences and short-term solutions to that effect. This style of management is difficult, but it’s in our nature to supplement the above with such tools as schedule engineering and process modelling. So we will take a look at a couple of PM terms to illustrate this.
Some PMs will use the term “methodology” to refer to project management. The PM methodology is a collection of principles and techniques that identify, assess and balance the creation of as well as the fruits of execution. (That’s a really useful one in my experience.) Unfortunately, as we move from sophistication in the use of methodologies such as seven sigma for example to application of standard tools such as Pareto analysis we make the assumption that we have become aware of our built in helper tools that we have been using that have been allowing us to achieve results. Unfortunately if we have, we also have a set of principles and techniques that are no longer consistent with the needs of this new, more agile, need based organization.
Some years ago I heard a senior PM say (and believe me there’s a degree of cynicism in this statement so it’s essentially true) “I (the project manager) should be the one who knows what needs to be done and who should know what the acceptable level of performance for an activity is, and if I don’t, then who does?”
Another more high profile PM decision to be made is how to deal with procrastination. We know that under stress our skill sets go to the minimum, and when some amazing opportunity provides us with the opportunity to learn some new skills then let’s consider that route. So if we go down the path of going back to the old organization’s known and proven methodology and all of that investment has not paid off and we are thinking about the way to improve that methodology or even just try some new approach, then we are going to pay the price for the rest of our lives. In other words, we are being asked to were the investment is, is…..for peace of mind, safety, and success in the work to be put on hold for several months whilst we go back to the old way of doing business.
Smooth Sailing – contributed by’ newsletters.
Remote Monitoring – contributed by emails / daily tickers on our monitoring site
Decision Flow Charting – contributed by a choice tree
Process Profiling – resulting from a one-on-one interview with your own PM.
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