The Project Notebook

Back to Basics

If you had a small audience with limited project management skills (or at least a limited definition of what it meant to be a project manager) and had just one hour to cover some information, including time for an interactive session, what would you do? This was the challenge I was confronted with this week.

My product is around 25-30 slides of basic information: definition of project and project manager, top 3 critical success factors for projects, the special benefits of project management (improved execution on strategy, innovation), and some information necessary to instruct on creating a task list and then adding estimates and resources. The exercise will be to come up with a high level plan which we will then refine over the coming weeks.

The primary audience consists of education administrators. Coincidentally I found a really good article on project management for primary and secondary educators on the PMI Education Foundation web site. The author, Kim Liegel, PMP has a web site named Make it Happen! What’s really good about this site and the materials is it conveys the message that you can make things happen WITH PLANNING. This is difficult to convey to people in this age of “Just Do It”.

Too often Just Do It turns into Ready, Fire, Aim type of progress. Partway through a complex project, its realized that something is seriously wrong and the end goal can’t be met. Sometimes these setbacks aren’t enough to initiate a planning effort, and things progress with Ready, Fire, Aim until goals are never met, or met in the distant future by accident.

I’ll be on the road most of next week and will try to let you all know how this planned session on planning turns out. If you have any thoughts on other approaches for a one hour presentation as I’ve outlined, please drop me a comment on this post or email sdcapmp@aol.com.

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© 2010-2012 Ray W. Frohnhoefer, MBA, PMP, CCP