8 Things You May Regret Not Doing – Part 2

In Part 1 of this two part series, we discussed the first four of my list of eight things a project manager may regret not doing on their project. These were:

  • Sharing the project budget with your team

  • Sharing the project budget with your customer

  • Doing those early planning documents

  • Managing from a detailed project schedule


In this Part 2, we’ll look at the final four items I’ve come up with as potentially regrettable omissions to the project management process.

Creating a requirements matrix

Thorough requirements documentation with a matrix to trace the requirements through the design and development of the solution will help ensure key requirements aren’t missed in the process. With a requirements traceability matrix, you’ll be able to document how and where each customer requirement is met in the solution.

Performing risk management

Failure to plan is planning to fail. We’ve all heard that, right? Well, it’s true…and if you fail to proactively identify potential risks that may affect your project then there’s no way you’ll be prepared to react when one of them hits. And, believe me, it’s highly likely at least one of them WILL hit. When was the last time you managed a project and everything – I mean EVERYTHING – went according to plan? Nothing was late, the budget was perfect, all 3rd party vendors delivered as expected, the customer requirements were right on the mark, etc.

It’s best to have a risk management strategy and work with the customer and your project team to identify some potential risks up front in the project. Develop some risk avoidance and risk mitigation strategies for these risks and you’ll be far better off in the long run.

Involving senior leadership on the project

I know many of us spend years trying to establish a great reputation of success in order to avoid heavy management and keep our senior leadership out of our hair. When they know they can rely on you to always ‘deliver’ to the best of your ability, then they tend to disappear. I say, don’t let that happen! Sure, perform admirably and make sure they know you are consistently successful and manage projects with excellence…always following PM best practices and keeping the project customer as satisfied as possible. However, you actually may want your senior leadership more involved than you think. By keeping your executive management aware of your project through meeting invitations, periodic status reports, etc. you may ensure someone is in your corner who can knock down roadblocks or get that critical resource for your project team when you need it taken care of quickly in a crisis situation. Plus, it’s often a good thing for the executives in the organization to know who the best project managers are.

Replacing that questionable resource

Finally, the last one on my list of eight is make sure you never regret hesitating to replace a questionable resource on the project. It’s great to have friends and not rock the boat, so to speak. But never at the expense of suffering a major project setback or failure due to a rogue, problematic or underachieving project team member who you considered replacing early on but decided not to because you just weren’t sure. If it looks like a duck, sounds like a duck, then it’s probably a duck. Trust your gut when it matters the most. If you sense early on your project would have a better chance for success with another resource than the one your were assigned, then speak up. Making changes later on will be costly and time consuming, and may cause customer satisfaction issues that can be very hard to overcome.

Summary

Well, that’s my list of eight things to be aware of from the outset of the project and to do these things, because you may likely regret not having done them at some point later in the project. Start the project off right by making good project management decisions for your project and customer and you’ll have a much easier time the rest of the way.

How about your thoughts? Please add to my list and share your thoughts and experiences as to why your items should be included.

 

Brad-bio66Brad Egeland is a Business Solution Designer and IT/PM consultant and author with over 25 years of software development, management, and project management experience leading initiatives in Manufacturing, Government Contracting, Gaming and Hospitality, Retail Operations, Aviation and Airline, Pharmaceutical, Start-ups, Healthcare, Higher Education, Non-profit, High-Tech, Engineering and general IT. Brad is married, a father of 9, and living in sunny Las Vegas, NV. Visit Brad’s site at http://www.bradegeland.com/.

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