The Project Notebook

Lessons from a Project of the Year

This past Wednesday night I attended my local PMI Chapter meeting. The presenter was Dave Colby, the project manager responsible for the Project of the Year awarded by the local chapter. The first lesson was “they must be doing something right at Qualcomm”. This is the second year one of their projects took the top prize. The project had a fairly short duration, but saves them around 5% of their legal bills. Since most of the legal work they are involved in revolves around patents and intellectual property, this can be substantial. IP attorneys typically charge $500+ per hour.

The real lesson though was planning. Senior management took six months to complete the diligence and approve the project which only took three months to complete. It was on time and slightly under budget. This was attributed to the level of planning and diligence before launching into execution. Hmmm… you think there might be something to it? If you have any doubts, please go back and read Pl*n is not a Four-Letter Word and Look Before the Project.

Well I’m working on a new online course for UCSD Extension. It’s going to be a lot of work, so my posts will be fairly short for a while. Once I start putting the course online though, there will be a need for new material and articles here to support it. So don’t forget to check back soon.

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One Response

  1. David Colby, PMP says:


    Thanks for the plug. You hit the main success themes from the presentation right on the head. Performing extensive planning/due diligence paid off in two ways for our project team. 1) By enabling the success of the project that won the 2007 PMI-SD Project of the Year Award, 2) by reinforcing the value of detailed planning before execution to Sr. Management. Internal stakeholders now have a better understanding of formal project management processes and the time needed to appropriately plan a project so it can be executed successfully. Of course we get pushed to deliver faster and cheaper (just like everyone else in the PM community), but past successes give us a documented leg to stand on during internal triple constraint negotiations.


    David Colby, PMP

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