Friday, 16 May 2014

Project Management: An Exercise in Common Sense

Steve Butler PMP lays out what Project Management means to him (and PM-Partners) in conjunction with the exciting Shim Marom-inspired #pmflashblog initiative. In short, Steve feels that project management requires a lot of planning, and some common sense, too.

Project management is all about change. Strip out all the latest fads, standards and gimmicks and at its heart all project management really boils down to is a risk mitigation exercise when you are trying to effect change – be it deliver a product or a service or an update.

Keep that thought at the front of your mind when managing a project, and everything becomes common sense. You are changing something, and you want to get it right. So what do you need to consider?p3m global flashblog from Steve Butler, PMP - Project Management: An Exercise in Common Sense
Well, you need to make sure "it" is the right thing…so some sort of requirements gathering exercise and scoping exercise is needed so you can hit the target. 

To do that you need to make sure you are talking to the right people to find out the right information, and to make sure you are keeping the right people up to speed with what you are doing – so some sort of communications management and stakeholder happiness plan needs to be in place. Obviously when you gather the requirements and define the scope, a budget and a timeline needs to be defined and managed, and how they progress needs to be communicated (hence having a communications plan). Within the timeline will be milestones and deliverables and some sort of mechanism for delivering them and reviewing the milestones. Part of making sure you hit the target is making sure the quality of what you are doing is acceptable, so some sort of plan to manage that is necessary.

You can think about assembling the team, and keeping them happy and efficient. If you’re not sure exactly what you’re doing, maybe deliver in bits and make sure you are heading in the right direction by regularly reviewing with someone who knows what is required. Maybe regularly review with the team to make sure they are doing the right thing and have no blockers you don’t know about. We could call that basic concept, oh I don’t know, Agile? A concept that has been around for decades, but now has a name!

Project Management – an exercise in common sense.


Steve Butler is Head of Delivery at p3m global. He was a Co-author of the PMI Standard for Portfolio Management, 3rd Edition, and has been a key contributor to other recent PMI publications, including OPM3, 3rd Ed., and Software Extension to the PMBOK® Guide Fifth Edition. earning special distinction as the only co-author based in the UK. Join the PMI Portfolio Management debate on our LinkedIn Group page - hosted by Steve - today.