Starting a project Craig Brown Speaking at Swinburne University 2 April 2010 @brown_note
I was invited to talk to Jim Burrow’s projectmanagement class at Swinburne University.It occurred to me that when I came into the ITindustry as an analyst one of the most usefulexperience I brought with me were acollection of modelling techniques I hadlearned about in business school.Furthermore, while there is plenty ofmodelling going on in the IT world, I continueto see an absence of business models in ITcontexts. So I thought I would talk about somemodels, how I used them and how they cancontribute to successful project outcomes.The theme here is “Know what done looks likeby using models that your business clients andpartners are familiar with.”
Understand Look at the Identify potential market – are their wantsand existing their needs and needs customers being met? How do Can you Can you do customersdeliver the it well, fast feel about goods? or cheap? your brand image? Look at Mobilize Build and specific your sell your customer resources product stories
Cross Time, Cost and A target A defined life organisational New or unique performance outcome span participation requirements One team or Creating the No constraints Go onExplorations one person same thing on time, cost or indefinitely working alone multiple times performance
Plans are useless. Planning isindispensable. Dwight Eisenhower
No plan survivescontact with the enemy Helmuth von Moltke
Process GroupsInitiate Plan Monitor & Control Close Implement
Figure 1.1 Project Life Cycle(Gray & Larson, 2006, p6)
S SpecificM MeasurableA AchievableR RelevantT Time-bound
Work Breakdown Structure T he right way T he wrong way Focus on physical deliverables Focus on processes, phases and that are meaningful and valuable project activities to the clientMeasure progress in terms that are meaningful to the client.
Different views from senior management on what (and how) should be done
Capacity Competition for (& effective utilisation of) resources
T eam Design Principles• T eams work best when they understand each • Competition for scarce resources wastes those other and are focused on the same goals. T his resources applies most importantly to understanding the – Isolate dependencies as much as possible by customer’s motivations and goals creating self sufficient delivery teams – So align teams with clients for best • Our ability to deliver is only as good as the results weakest link• Focus trumps utility by orders of magnitude – Ensure that all teams are staffed with – So model teams around focused goals rather sufficient capability. Manage structural than maximum utility and systematic deficiencies as an operations• Cross functional teams can overcome most risk. problems on their own • Success relies on meeting or exceeding – So staff teams sufficiently to do the work expectations. and get out of their way – So ensure you know your demand and capacity. Do this by gathering empirical data.