Written originally in the tech crash that followed Y2K, this article describes many of the challenges and opportunities facing the project management industry in today’s economy. The article is reposted here from its original publication in Computing Canada Magazine.
So many project managers do the original schedule of the project, the planning and then start the project and run by the seat of their pants from then on. I can tell you how many projects I’ve seen with the schedule never updated. Project management isn’t just the planning.
The Dakota Indians have a saying – “If the horse dies, dismount” which you figure would be obvious. Why then do so many project managers keep trying to save a project that should have been made into glue ages ago?
Generally Accepted Accounting Principles or GAAP are now a part of all big project management environments. These standards are what makes for things like Sarbanes Oxley and other compliance challenges. What do project managers have to know about GAAP and where they come from?
You’ve heard the expression “From little acorns big trees grow.” The same can be said for projects. There’s something compelling about the big project, the huge project, the significant project. There must be because almost everywhere I go, people take little projects and try to make them bigger. It might start innocently enough, the project team brainstorms in the early planning stages and a mind-mapping exercise takes the little project and gives it branches from…
Project scheduling is at its most interesting when the schedule is constrained. There are few examples of this better than a shutdown and turnaround schedule in an industrial plant. Everything you know from project management in other contexts applies here too but the project only lasts a few days with hundreds or thousands of workers descending on the plant to do the work in as short a time as possible. Here are some of the areas where shutdown project management is more tightly managed than elsewhere.
It’s easy to run a project when everything goes well. What preparation have you made however for when things go awry? We’re told to be ready to recover from a disaster at home but do you apply the same logic to your projects?
In a tough economy there are lots of places you can cut costs. Project Management isn’t a good choice. Here’s why
Thinking about how to manage one project vs. many projects is a very different exercise and it has little to do with the volume of work. How do you manage the conflicting interests of many projects underway simultaenously when you’re responsible for managing a multi-project environment? We discuss this and other multi-project challenges in this article.
Project management is only one challenge in managing a project with multiple projects. Everything we do for one project, we must consider among many. Which projects should get priority, which projects should get resources first, which projects are prerequisites for other projects. How do executives determine the priorities among projects and what happens when they won’t?