Project management wisdom from the trenches

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Project management wisdom from the trenches

  1. 1. Project Management Wisdom from the Trenches
  2. 2. The following pages have some wisdom gleaned from my years in the trenches of IT projects. I must confess some are tainted by healthy disrespect for leaders who believe anything sold can be delivered. That projects end despite sponsors is proof that miracles happen and alchemy is science
  3. 3. Whatever you do is either a lesson learned or a best practice When the job is done, the glory of recent battles recounted, people realize whatever worked well had worked in earlier projects too. Stuff that didn't work get listed as Lessons Learned, promptly slink into shadows, bid their time to be called to action in the next project (illustration by Manu Cornet)
  4. 4. Project conclusion is independent of Project Status The beauty of project health is that the color of the status lies in the eyes of the beholder. It also seems the act of being observed does funny things to the project status. Please do away with traffic signals in the project status report, steering committees jump red lights all the time.
  5. 5. Go Home plans are more important than Go Live plans After “Go Live” project members can not leave as they are indispensable to the healthy continuity of a solution someone else judged seaworthy. Go Live plans are necessary to keep wolves at bay; but any project manager worth her salt keeps working on the Go Home milestone GO LIVE GO HOME
  6. 6. Escalations early in a project on trivial but quantifiable issues are Early Warning Signs An uneasy client who cannot articulate why, tends to choose the most quantifiable issue even if it is not relevant or significant. On the face of it this may be a trivial flag raised too early calling attention to the wrong shadow. If ignored there would be the risk of a lingering grudge that the client will bear even when they have forgotten why.
  7. 7. Testing is the first casualty of schedule slippage You may not love deadlines but would be familiar with the whooshing sound they make as they fly by. They sound like shell approaching the trenches. After the explosion, the recovery squad gets into action. Innovative thinkers turn the already aggressive project schedule to an impossibly unrealistic one. The first casualty is always testing.
  8. 8. These were just five of the laws of projects that I shared here. I am afraid that I may have stretched your patience. But before you flip over to the Thank You slide I propose a little game. How about voting for the one(s) you like best. Simply click on the Twitter icon ( ) in front of it and I will help you tweet the law. Go ahead, try it out! Whatever you do in a project is either a lesson learned or a best practice Project conclusion is independent of project status Go Home plans are more important than project Go Live plans Escalations early in a project on trivial but quantifiable issues are Early Warning Signs Testing is the first casualty of project schedule slippage
  9. 9. Thank you for making it to this page. If you are still here and have an appetite for elaboration on any, some or all five you may go to my blog entry for the full text version. I hope you have tweeted the law you liked the most! Feel free to email me at shoumo@obligent.com if you have a feedback or have a question for me. Follow @obligent on Twitter. Above all, please share this with your network using the buttons below.

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