Project Management

Project Planning: The Flaw Factor

Tom's latest eBook has been released on Amazon: "The 7 Myths of IT Integrations". Tom is also a Program Director for a large Midwest corporation and has been an adjunct faculty member at Walsh College. He has managed global web initiatives, data center moves and large multi-million dollar programs.

Yes, it’s happened to me and I am the first to admit it. (If I got you out of the office, I’m willing to bet that you’d admit that it’s happened to you, too.)

As project managers, we have always had the best of intentions. We honestly wanted to plan our projects correctly. However, the beginning of the project is when we know the least about how things will unfold. As a result, we rely on our own experience and the experiences of our teams when constructing a schedule. The challenge lies in the fact that the work will be executed by people in uncontrollable environments.

Why is it that many--if not most tasks and projects--finish beyond their scheduled completion time? Here’s a few of the common flaws that creep into even the best of schedules.

1. Student Syndrome 
We’re all guilty of this at one time or another. This is nothing unique; it’s the tendency of almost every student that ever stepped into a public school or college. Students put things off until the very last second. “I’ll have it done ; I have plenty of time.” After two cold pizzas, nine energy drinks and an all-night cram session, the results sometimes come out less than perfect.

Same thing goes for some of our estimates. When we approximate how long a task will probably take, we don’t always get the full feedback on how …

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"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man."

- George Bernard Shaw