Sunday, September 29, 2019

Your first project as PM

You've done a lot of projects as member of the project team, but you've never been the PM
Now you are one
And your first thought may be: "What do I need to know, and why do I need to know it?"
  • If I gather a bunch of data about what is going on, what do I do with it?
  • Didn't someone say: Don't measure what you are not going to manage?
  • And, very likely, someone said: Don't manage what's not important (or, meant to say: let the self-managing stuff manage itself)
How's it going?
I remember being asked early on: "How's it going?"
And my first thought was: what do you mean?
And, my second thought was: shouldn't I know what is meant by "how's it going"? And, gasp! how do I measure it? (Assuming I knew what "it" is)

Milestones are everything
If it's a big project, you may have an administrator or a team of administrators working schedules.
Yea for them!
Your job is to work value-milestones
  • What are the big chunks of value that need to be ready when
  • No one will long remember the details; but they will remember if you hit the big milestones, rollouts, and put value on the line as promised.
  • Even cost will be forgiven as a tactical necessity if you get the value-milestones right
What to measure and manage
And so, it comes down to barriers, inhibitors, risks, resources etc that will make or break a milestone.
That's the answer you should give to "how's it going" which is really "how's it going to the next milestone?"

Milestones are not self-managing; that's where you job comes in. Figure out what you need to measure to determine if you're going to make it, and then go measure it! From the data, determine a course of action to correct -- or maintain -- the path to success.


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