Before we can talk about Project Management, we need to make sure that we can identify what is (and is not) a project that can be managed. A major mistake I often make is to start managing a project that really isn’t ready for project management. And that is a recipe for disaster. Before a project can be managed, it must have:
- Clearly defined start and end dates
- Clearly defined scope (the work that is to be done)
- Clearly defined resources (people, money, equipment, time)
Most of the time, we are busy managing a wide variety of tasks that are essentially a huge pile of accumulated action items. They “feel” like we are managing projects because they collectively contribute towards the common good of the organization. But – if these tasks are not aligned towards a well-defined goal with a schedule, budget, milestones, and deliverables – then they are not projects. At the least, they are not projects that can be managed. They are nothing more than our “task list”.
If this makes sense to you, then you probably don’t need the rest of these posts. Correcting this misunderstanding of project management is 99% of all our problems. The rest is pretty easy.
Thanks for listening.