Project Management Lack of Detail
By Ron Rosenhead
The project plan lacked any detail. It was too high level and there was only a small percentage chance that this project would be delivered on time, to budget and with the right results. This is a typical example in most projects, and a typical mistake by the Project Manager.
So, what can be done? Well, it really is simple. You use one word to help you. The word is how.
You identify that you have to write a report as part of the project. For some plans we see a one line which simply points to ‘write report’. But, is that all that is involved? By keep asking how you can begin to pull out activities that you may need to do:
- research the topic (ask how?)
- visit key stakeholders to seek their views
- arrange meetings with stakeholders
- record meetings with stakeholders confirming what they said – by email
- contact internal finance people for financial input
- draft the report
- review draft
- write report
- submit the report
You will note that each of the above activities can be broken down even further.
People we have worked with seem to carry project plans in their heads. When we ask them what is involved they know; the problem is putting it down on paper for others to know and to follow!
To deliver your project you will need detail and our experience shows that this is often lacking. That detail gives you the chance to identify predecessors and put estimates of time and money against each activity and if you wish, draw a Gantt chart.
The skill is quick to master but takes time to do effectively.
About Ron Rosenhead (In his own words)
I first became involved in Project Management quite accidentally! While working in a large organisation which was going through huge change I realised that these changes would only be successful if people delivered projects effectively. But, no one had received any training in this area!
I ran a series of workshops and saw that this was an important area – working to help organisations deliver projects on time and to budget.
I have personally trained many thousands of people to deliver projects effectively. In addition, I have spoken at conferences, coached individuals and worked with project teams. After encouragement from a couple of grateful workshop participants I wrote Deliver That Project – a practical guide to delivering projects.
Alongside this my big project is to make my company Project Agency even more successful. We work with a wide range of clients providing them with Project Management training alongside developing in-house Project Management systems to ensure a uniform approach to project delivery.