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MINIMUM VIABLE
PROJECT
MANAGEMENT
Jennifer Berk, February 2014
What is a project?
A temporary endeavor to produce a unique
result. Generally involves limited time, scope,
quality, and/or budget, and tradeoffs between
those resources.
Contrast with a semi-permanent operational
process, which happens over and over in the
same way.
Minimum Viable Project
Management
1.
2.
3.

4.
5.

6.

7.

Analyze needs
Create list of tasks and dependencies
Estimate timelines (and budgets if
appropriate)
Assign tasks to self and/or others
Communicate the plan and make any
revisions
Monitor and report progress (scope/quality),
estimate if the project will meet the deadline
and budget, and modify the plan as needed
Deliver results and celebrate!
Traditional PM Processes

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Project_development_stages.jp
Analyze needs











Why are we doing this project?
What business objectives will we achieve?
What concrete deliverables will we produce?
What does this project not include (out of
scope)?
What quality level is appropriate for this
project?
Who is involved, both customers of the project
(stakeholders) and participants?
What deadline and budget limits must we
Create list of tasks and
dependencies
Simple projects: checklist
 Complex projects: Work Breakdown Structure
Make sure you know what tasks have to finish
before other tasks can start.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:WbsConstruction.png
Estimate timelines (and
budgets)







For each task, estimate how long it will take.
See what different people can do at the same
time.
Lay out any sequences of tasks with
prerequisites.
List and/or diagram a full project timeline.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Project_network.png
Assign tasks
Who would do a good job on this particular
task?
 Do they have time to work on it?
 Are their skills better used on other tasks?
 (For bonus development points) Have they
done too much of this kind of task lately?
Should they get to learn or practice something
different instead? What task assignment
makes the team better off overall?
This often changes after asking the team what
else they’re working on!

Communicate the plan
This is usually the hardest part.
 What tasks does each participant need to
complete? What are the scope, quality, and
deadline requirements for each task?
 Do all stakeholders understand the
deliverables they’ll receive, the project
timeline, and any risks/constraints that could
affect the deliverables or timeline? Do they
know when to expect progress updates and
how to interpret them?
Do, monitor, report, and modify








Do the project tasks!
Monitor progress on each task to know if
you’re on time / on budget.
Measure quality along the way, if possible.
Communicate progress updates regularly to
participants and all other stakeholders.
If you estimate you will miss your deadline,
budget, scope, or quality requirements, modify
the plan and communicate it again.
Overcommunicate early!
Deliver results and celebrate!






Communicate your results to stakeholders via
concrete deliverables and discussions.
Make notes on how to improve the next
project, based on your experiences and others’
feedback.
Thank project participants and tell them how
their work was received and what impact it
had. Be as specific as possible about their
contribution. Celebrate!
Minimum Viable Project
Management
1.
2.
3.

4.
5.

6.

7.

Analyze needs
Create list of tasks and dependencies
Estimate timelines (and budgets if
appropriate)
Assign tasks to self and/or others
Communicate the plan and make any
revisions
Monitor and report progress (scope/quality),
estimate if the project will meet the deadline
and budget, and modify the plan as needed
RECAP!
Deliver results and celebrate!
Traditional PM Processes

RECAP!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Project_development_stages.jp

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Minimum Viable Project Management

  • 2. What is a project? A temporary endeavor to produce a unique result. Generally involves limited time, scope, quality, and/or budget, and tradeoffs between those resources. Contrast with a semi-permanent operational process, which happens over and over in the same way.
  • 3. Minimum Viable Project Management 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Analyze needs Create list of tasks and dependencies Estimate timelines (and budgets if appropriate) Assign tasks to self and/or others Communicate the plan and make any revisions Monitor and report progress (scope/quality), estimate if the project will meet the deadline and budget, and modify the plan as needed Deliver results and celebrate!
  • 5. Analyze needs        Why are we doing this project? What business objectives will we achieve? What concrete deliverables will we produce? What does this project not include (out of scope)? What quality level is appropriate for this project? Who is involved, both customers of the project (stakeholders) and participants? What deadline and budget limits must we
  • 6. Create list of tasks and dependencies Simple projects: checklist  Complex projects: Work Breakdown Structure Make sure you know what tasks have to finish before other tasks can start.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:WbsConstruction.png
  • 7. Estimate timelines (and budgets)     For each task, estimate how long it will take. See what different people can do at the same time. Lay out any sequences of tasks with prerequisites. List and/or diagram a full project timeline. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Project_network.png
  • 8. Assign tasks Who would do a good job on this particular task?  Do they have time to work on it?  Are their skills better used on other tasks?  (For bonus development points) Have they done too much of this kind of task lately? Should they get to learn or practice something different instead? What task assignment makes the team better off overall? This often changes after asking the team what else they’re working on! 
  • 9. Communicate the plan This is usually the hardest part.  What tasks does each participant need to complete? What are the scope, quality, and deadline requirements for each task?  Do all stakeholders understand the deliverables they’ll receive, the project timeline, and any risks/constraints that could affect the deliverables or timeline? Do they know when to expect progress updates and how to interpret them?
  • 10. Do, monitor, report, and modify      Do the project tasks! Monitor progress on each task to know if you’re on time / on budget. Measure quality along the way, if possible. Communicate progress updates regularly to participants and all other stakeholders. If you estimate you will miss your deadline, budget, scope, or quality requirements, modify the plan and communicate it again. Overcommunicate early!
  • 11. Deliver results and celebrate!    Communicate your results to stakeholders via concrete deliverables and discussions. Make notes on how to improve the next project, based on your experiences and others’ feedback. Thank project participants and tell them how their work was received and what impact it had. Be as specific as possible about their contribution. Celebrate!
  • 12. Minimum Viable Project Management 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Analyze needs Create list of tasks and dependencies Estimate timelines (and budgets if appropriate) Assign tasks to self and/or others Communicate the plan and make any revisions Monitor and report progress (scope/quality), estimate if the project will meet the deadline and budget, and modify the plan as needed RECAP! Deliver results and celebrate!