Project Management

How to Navigate the ‘Boring’ Middle Part of Your Projects

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 [email protected] Andy's new book Risk Management for Project Driven Organizations is now available.

One of the great things about project management is the variety of the work. Many PMs are drawn to the profession by the fact that you never quite know what might happen the next day, and because every project throws up slightly different challenges and opportunities.

But sometimes, there just isn’t much to do. How do you handle that—especially if you’re a new PM and haven’t experienced it before?

That bit in the middle
It usually happens in the middle of projects. You’ve worked with the team through all of the initiation and planning stuff, you’ve got people assigned to their tasks and overcome the few teething problems. Now everyone knows what to do and they’re getting on with it.

Later comes the crunch time to get everything done before the deadline, to deal with the unanticipated problems that jeopardize the project’s success, and to manage the impact of that triggered risk that always comes at the worst possible moment.

But right now, in the middle of the work, things are pretty smooth. You have a few questions to answer, a few dependencies to juggle, and the inevitable status updates and stakeholder requests to handle, but you’re not exactly overworked.

What do you do? How do you fill your day and avoid feeling as though you aren’t really earning your money because it’s kinda easy?

The …

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- Voltaire