Tuesday, November 21, 2006

101 Lessons on Project Management

The Project Management Source site has an interesting list of 101 ways to organize your (project management) life. A few of the gems include:

6. Giving autonomy does not mean not keeping track of progress.
29. Minimize your supervision - Provide a sense of autonomy. Freedom is a major motivator and builds trust on both sides. (Tip: But don’t tune out completely.)
- Micromanagement is bad, but so is absentee management

18. When you pressure your team to deliver faster than is humanly possible, don’t be surprised to see a poor quality, bug-laden product.
- You get what you ask for, so ask carefully

27. The buck stops here: You are accountable for your task / project. However, this does not mean that you do not delegate. Delegate work to your team members, let them know that they are accountable for their assignment/s, and ensure that they have the resources so that they can deliver successfully.
- This is key (see also my post on Responsibility & Humility). When you start using the word "they" while describing a project problem, it is time to repent

39. Be Open: While you should not be a dumping ground for grievances, you SHOULD be accessible enough for team members to openly discuss concerns or delays.
- Be sure not to become Absalom, though

Keep your sense of humor: It helps – especially in situations where no one feels like laughing.
- I am often finding 'Dilbert moments'

Getting it right from the outset: The most important part of a project’s life cycle is the identification of its requirements.
99. Desiring the impossible gives rise to suffering It is also the root of many failed projects. When undertaking a project, you have the duty to question authority, to push back. Ask questions, rather than voice objections. Why is this the deadline? What if it isn't met? What do you really need, and by when? What assumptions are you making? What would you give up to get what what you really need? Will we have the right resources at the right time?
- Do not underestimate the challenge of gaining real understanding here (and do not mistake documentation for understanding)

86. No job in the world is worth neglecting your kids for.

- Why is this #86? And (as if I were truly puzzled here) why does it need to be stated at all?

Check out the site for the full list (and some other useful stuff as well).

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