We just completed a project with the most aggressive timeline I have ever had the pleasure to plan and manage. It would have been a complete displeasure had everything not gone so well. It might not sound so rough in writing, but we designed and deployed a blog for a brand new client in under 10 days.
Two days after launch, I am sitting at my desk, going back to the site to make sure we didn't miss something, thinking "what happened here?" or "how did we pull it off?" Here's why I think we did it: Read more
All projects operate on some sort of budget, and the work that we do as project managers is scoped as a part of that budget. It's hard to measure a lot of what we do, because there are few "deliverables" tied to managing a project. But how do you estimate the time you need to manage a project when there are so many variables, like changing timelines, client requests, team meetings, and so on?
For any other work, a budget is a budget and you need to work with it, right? The same can be said for project management. We need to do what is right for the client and the project, and keep our work within the constraints of the project budget. I've been thinking about this a lot lately, as I have hit my hours budgets on projects earlier than expected, or have seen a trend toward using my hours before a project is done. I had to take a deeper look at what I was doing on those projects to see just where the time was going. It's true, you read it here first: I'm not perfect. I completely exhaust budget hours! (If you don't, you must have some amazing budgets to work with.) Read more
Post Mortem. Do you get the willies when someone utters those words?
Is it like when you die and your limbs stiffen up? No, that is rigor mortis. We’re talking about project management here, not CSI. But in a way, Post Mortems can be like an episode of CSI in that you investigate your process and figure out what causes project issues. In any case, you should conduct your Post Mortem meeting after a project has ended, but long before project rigor mortis sets in.
No one is perfect. No project is perfect. Don’t ever forget that. I’ve already mentioned that project managers are not robots. We can’t fix every problem—or even know that they are coming. But with the help of a project Post Mortem meeting (and a great CSI team of your own), maybe we can identify the things that create issues within our own projects. With some additional thought and discussion, those issues can be fixed and we can save our teams and clients from a limited amount of pain. It’s amazing how solid evaluation tools and some team collaboration can help you to get to the bottom of your process issues and help you work efficiently. That’s where the project Post Mortem meeting comes in. Read more