Project Management

Simplified Project Management?

Andy Jordan is President of Roffensian Consulting S.A., a Roatan, Honduras-based management consulting firm with a comprehensive project management practice. Andy always appreciates feedback and discussion on the issues raised in his articles and can be reached at andy.jordan@roffensian.com. Andy's new book Risk Management for Project Driven Organizations is now available.

There’s a reasonable chance that new project managers will be given small, straightforward projects to manage when they first start out. The idea is a solid one: Avoid too much complexity and keep the amount of work manageable, and the chances of success go up. And a PM who starts their career with a few successful projects is going to feel much better about themselves than one who struggles to make progress.

But a lot of new project managers approach me with questions and concerns about these simple projects. That’s because their employers expect them to also use stripped down, simplified processes to manage them. This is predominantly a worry on the traditional side of project management, but it can also occur to a lesser extent on agile initiatives.

Again, the logic is sound—there isn’t the same need for structure and process for a project that only involves three or four team members and only lasts for a couple of months. With initiatives like that, the overhead involved with a full project management methodology could have a big impact on project costs—and by extension the business contribution.

But how does a new project manager know which aspects of the organization’s approach to project management should be preserved and which elements should be dropped? If they cut the wrong things, they are hurting the ability to succeed&…


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"I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work."

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