Heike Moeller November 10, 2020 Project Management
One of the features of checklists is that they can be designed to extend hierarchically, such that a sub-checklist could be developed to facilitate any or all of the checks above (e.g. a stakeholder analysis checklist or a risk management checklist). The PMI, training firms and PMOs would do well to promote checklists more strongly - project managers like to use checklists; not many want to read through an overweight methodology. And managers like checklists because they improve quality and instill consistency.
A methodology guides an organization or an individual from start to finish. A project management methodology probes deep in the various steps of the project management life cycle. It is a checklist of tasks to be performed in the various steps of the plan. The project management methodology gives the manager a definite control over the scheme, allowing him or her to maneuver the team toward the destination called success. A project without a methodology would be a train running without tracks. It further allows the project manager to standardize the protocols of a plan, thereby providing a general structure of the steps, which can be followed in all other future projects.
All the documents prepared all along the execution of the scheme must be lucid and articulate, so that everyone in the team and the stakeholders get to understand, each and every issue of it. This is an essential ingredient for a successful project. The final issue in project management is getting the user to check on the plan and see to that they are satisfied. A disgruntled user will not only reject the plan, but would also leave a bad reputation for the organization. So assuming that the requirements are met the customer is made to sign a customer satisfaction form and then the project is declared closed. The resources used on it are released and the project manager gets a day off!
One of the challenges of explaining project management to people who are unfamiliar with the approach, is that descriptions are often either so high-level as to be meaningless, or so detailed that they are overwhelming. Over the years, I have come to use a model as a framework for introducing and discussing project management tools and techniques. It can be used as the basis for a five-minute explanation of what is involved in project management, but also as an outline for more detailed discussions. The actual model can be found on the Key Consulting website under free templates and info.
The next phase is the execution phase. Here the project must be monitored and managed. A schedule is derived which includes work breakdown, followed by allocation of tasks to people, allocation of resources and finally setting up deadlines for tasks. It is very important to have both a short-term goal and a long-term goal. While the long term goal is to get the product done, the short goals must be imposed by the project manager, who helps in guiding and motivating the members of the team working on the plan. Two important documents namely the issue log and the risk log which are both maintained by the project manager. The issue log keeps track of issues raised by the stakeholders and the risk log considers the vulnerabilities of a system.
Project Managers are all too familiar with the project triangle. We know we can shorten a schedule by either (a) reducing the scope of the project, or (b) adding more resources to it. Unfortunately, management either has not seen that triangle or, more likely than not, simply chooses to ignore it. Consequently, Project Manglers who are more interested in pleasing upper management than keeping honest have come up with their own universal algorithm for shortening project schedules. Take the number of days that need to be cut from the schedule, divide it by the number of major milestones, and then deduct that number from the duration of each milestone. In other words, if a project comprising of 4 major milestones is estimated to last 6 months, but you need to reduce it by one month, you`d take 20 days, and divide it by 4. Take the answer (5), and deduct it from the duration of each milestone. And voila! Works every time.