The Project Atelier
9 thoughts on the principles of project management.
Updated: Oct 18, 2022
There is a lot said and written about project management. In countless books, articles, blogs plenty of research is being done and technology suggests making project management easier and easier. But is that really the case? Are some fundamentals not being applied more or less in the same fashion since the building of the pyramids? Here are some thoughts:
Resist ad-hoc decision making. A project requires thinking, planning and integrating. No matter if you are running a traditional or more agile approach. Getting the bigger picture is key.
Projects need leadership. Someone needs to give direction so all participants and team members can do their bit when it's needed.
Write it down. Everything that people expect and everything that people promise. This helps with increasing accountability and not forgetting anything. Send notes confirming what you wrote down, what you understood, what it costs when it will be done. :-)
Show your work. Create a basis for sound discussions by sharing your work. Only something tangible triggers fruitful discussions. People tend to only argue something once they see it and its implication.
Keep a log. Projects have long durations and they see many faces during their existence. It's important to keep a record of things that matter or more impotently those that have influenced decisions. This will also help to kick-start your next project. See here an article about lessons learned. ;;;
Source control is important. Don't change things while people are reviewing them. This only created confusion and additional work for all involved.
Slack is key. It's more satisfying to see your project progress. Projects tend to be subject to change all the time and you can't plan everything in great detail. It's better to give it a go while of course, you keep the overall objective in your mind.
Find the critical path and stick to it no matter what. This is what you have to focus on and everything else is planned around it.
When you're done don't forget to wrap it up properly. Don't just leave the project but gather your thoughts, document lessons learned, make a proper package with all the information that was produced over the time that is still relevant. I bet you you will need it again.