Projects & budgets

25 May
Although a large part of a PM’s life is spent (so we are told) tracking costs, many projects go over budget, not only that but they carry on! So spending too much is obviously not a real problem. Probably by the time the overspend is obvious, too much has already been spent on the project for it to be canned.
Perhaps the PM’s role is not to control the budget, but to ensure that the overspend is held as low as possible.
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Plans!

17 Nov

The project manager, team, client etc. assume that the plan (usually a Gantt chart) is:

  • understood
  • correct
  • robust, sufficient & efficient

This is rarely the case, consequently the project manager or underling spend much time modifying the plan. Which is inefficient.

Projct management tools are too late

17 Nov

The issue with most tools is that they measure things, i.e. are retrospective. (the plan is prospective – but with the expectation that it will change as work progresses, or slips which is more usual). Consequently such tools are only for measuring, not for motivating or directing the work. After all one of the key problems with projects is the people involved. There will be more payback from getting the people geared up on the project at the start than trying to herd them when things start slipping. So what tools exist to modify the behaviour of the team/ clients at the start of the project?

Calculating Earned Value

17 Nov

While this concept has been around for some decades (so it must be useful in some cases),  it still only looks at secondary data (i.e. expenditure), it doesn’t use the product set as the measure of progress.

Version 2 of PPAPR-DEAR

17 Nov

ppapr-dear v2

I’ve made a few changes to the style of presentation & fixed some errors. The approach & method outlined remain the same.

If you accessed the page and couldn’t launch the file

2 Aug

Coinciding exactly with posting the first entry, my ISP apparently decided that the WP servers were hosting inappropriate material, & so blocked them to UK authors. As a result I have not been able to get in to improve the page to make the process clearer. The problem might now have been fixed.

You have to download the file. Mindjet can produce a .swf file to run on a web page but I cannot load that into WP. So the file has to remain a .pdf which you have to download – the engine contained within the file won’t run within a web page.

PPAPR – DEAR a proposal for light touch project management

17 Jul

Download this file ppapr – dear v1

This pdf file requires Adobe reader & Flash to work.

There are 2 elements to this publication – the Message & the Medium. Feedback on either is welcome but don’t confuse the two.

1. The Message: The idea that there is a simpler way to carry out many projects of small to moderate size, making use of what is basically mind-mapping software to define the product set. Practically everything else should then follow. Its not a perfect method, but then no project management method can be as such methods try to reduce projects to a mechanistic process – which never works.

2. The Medium: The mode of presentation is explained in the file. Many people find a diagram easier to understand & I have attempted to use this idea to create a slightly different e-book.