Project Management in Real Life

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Sharing my Project Management adventures and some tips. I try to keep my articles brief and to the point. Project Management is an Art, Science, and Discipline.

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The High Risk Project

Project Management has been around from the beginning of time. Just think about the wonders of the world that have been built. A form of project management had to have been used to accomplish such feats. The Romans and Egyptians are examples of accomplishing amazing construction projects with only primitive tools and slaves. The use of slaves must have been ingrained into project teams through the years to joke about Project Managers being slave drivers.     

Fast forward to modern times. Project Management is a critical discipline to ensure successful delivery of projects on time within the budget. Projects are tied to a budget with a reasonable variance for the bumps in the road that could pop up. The bumps in the road are the project risks that should be identified and monitored all the time. The entire team needs to be onboard with open communication to immediately report any risks that are starting to materialize. If you stick your head in the sand and hope that the risk goes away without any mitigation, good luck, get your resume ready. 

The person overseeing the entire high profile project needs to be transparent, accessible and have integrity. Knowing when to say timeout takes guts when it's starting to look bad. Slapping on workarounds for deficiencies that eventually catch up with the project is just pure stupidity. Money and time are just wasted and your competency will questioned. 

Having an unrealistic attitude that we have put in many hours and spent big money on the project already so it's unstoppable because we are at the point of no return will not work in your favor. Any failing project can be shutdown to repurpose it or dismantle it to stop further financial loss. Repurpose or dismantling will come at a cost, but if you continue on with a poorly planned project that should have never gotten a green light to proceed, you better have deep pockets to keep funding that White Elephant. A lot of people will be outraged and at the same time relieved that bleeding will be stopped. 

It's all about gathering the required cost and time to complete a project on-time within the budget. Not an easy job for some projects, but it needs to be done properly without cutting corners to get an approval. That's the expectation you expect when you entrust a project team to embark on a major high risk project that is very expensive. 

 

(Note - this article was originally written by Drake Settsu and published on DrakeSettsu.BlogSpot.com in May 2016)

Posted on: April 15, 2018 06:55 AM | Permalink | Comments (11)

Budget Creep a Project Manager's Nightmare

Going over budget within the scope of a project can happen. You think you covered all the possibilities that could occur in the project. You submitted a budget with padding so you can avoid a budget overrun. You are now at the one third milestone in the project and your funds are being depleted faster than anticipated. How did I not see this happening?

Reporting any budget variances on a monthly Project Stop Light Report will expose your budget creep. You will see how your monthly expenditures keep going up for the project. That is your cue to stop the project and revisit the budget. Are the projected estimates accurate or grossly underestimated? The faith of the project is in jeopardy now. Will the project be shutdown or will additional funds be allocated for it? A big decision needs to be made based on an accurate big picture on what the new realistic funding will be to keep the project moving.  

Project Managers need to always keep an eye on the budget and raise the red flag when the project funds are depleting ahead of time. Avoid what I call Budget Creep.

 

(Note - this article was originally written by Drake Settsu and published on DrakeSettsu.BlogSpot.com in September 2016)

Posted on: March 02, 2018 05:17 AM | Permalink | Comments (15)

Proposals for solutions the three options way

Present your solutions with the three options approach. When you are on a budget and faced with a problem that needs to be addressed you need to look at various options to address the problem. 

1) Look at the short term cheap fix solution if it will meet your needs until a long term solution is implemented in the future. 

2) When you are uncertain when a long term fix will be implemented you need to look for a solution that has the capability of going the distance without all those bells and whistles. 

3) The long term solution with all the bells and whistles that will address all your needs into the future. 

It's all in how you present the options to management. You need to upfront commit to your first pick and hard sell it. Management will have a chance to see the three options and decide to just fork out the money to address a permanent fix or select one of the two cheaper solutions to buy time to get that permanent solution in the budget.

(Note - this article was originally written by Drake Settsu and published on DrakeSettsu.BlogSpot.com in April 2014)

Posted on: January 19, 2018 03:50 AM | Permalink | Comments (8)

Budget Creep a Project Manager's Nightmare

Going over budget within the scope of a project can happen. You think you covered all the possibilities that could occur in the project. You submitted a budget with padding so you can avoid a budget overrun. You are now at the one third milestone in the project and your funds are being depleted faster than anticipated. How did I not see this happening?

Reporting any budget variances on a monthly Project Stop Light Report will expose your budget creep. You will see how your monthly expenditures keep going up for the project. That is your cue to stop the project and revisit the budget. Are the projected estimates accurate or grossly underestimated? The faith of the project is in jeopardy now. Will the project be shutdown or will additional funds be allocated for it? A big decision needs to be made based on an accurate big picture on what the new realistic funding will be to keep the project moving.  

Project Managers need to always keep an eye on the budget and raise the red flag when the project funds are depleting ahead of time. Avoid what I call Budget Creep.

(Note - this article was originally written by Drake Settsu and published on DrakeSettsu.BlogSpot.com in September 2016)

Posted on: January 13, 2018 08:03 AM | Permalink | Comments (5)
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