Project Time Management: Key Tips for Project Success
By Rosemary Hossenlopp
This article focuses on improving project success through focus on the PMBOK(r) Guide Time Management Knowledge Area.
You all want realistic schedules. You want to present a plan to senior leadership that has a high confidence of successful project completion. Here are some powerful planning tips complied from project participants that I recently met with that will improve your project success.
Key Project Time Management Tips
Define Activities That Support Deliverables: You don’t understand project deliverables until you understand how to create them. Period. On small projects this is easy. Larger projects require more formality and rigor. This is the powerful planning tip behind Activity Definition as defined by the PMBOK(r) Guide.
Involve SME’s in Schedule Reviews: Activity dependencies are complex on any type of new project; new resources, new client, or new technology. Address project complexity with subject matter expert (SME) involvement. This is a powerful process behind Activity Sequencing as defined by the PMBOK Guide.
Get Visibility to Vendor Estimates: Specify that all vendors must provide WBS’s, schedules, and resource requirements. Trust is not a strategy. This is a best practice behind Activity Resource Estimating as defined by the PMBOK Guide.
Involve Team in Schedule Estimates: Simple but we are often too rushed to make this happen. This is a powerful habit behind Activity Duration Estimating as defined by the PMBOK Guide and in Agile Methodologies.
Predict When You Will Plan Activities: Many projects have a lot of unknowns. This is OK during project initiation. This is not OK during planning. Activities are planned as you are beginning your current sprint, iteration or phase. If WBS deliverables or the supporting activities are not planned, you have just increased the riskiness of your project. If you don’t have enough information to define requirements, don’t include it in this phase. Push it to downstream phases. This is a guiding principal behind Schedule Development as defined by the PMBOK Guide.
This list is nothing new. You already knew this information? Yet think about your current project.
If everything is running smoothly, what can be improved to ensure even better results on your next project? Your competitors are not standing still. Project’s need process improvement to meet tomorrow’s challenges.
If you project isn’t a picture of bliss, what one item from the above list could you work on to drive recovery efforts?
- Pick one
- Focus on it
- Share results
- Get noticed
Project Managers, implement these tips to improve the confidence you have in your project schedule and improve your project success.
Originally Written for the Information Systems Special Interest Group (ISSIG) Blog
Rosemary Hossenlopp, PMP, MBA is a Silicon Valley based IT professional that works on improving project results for time-starved project teams. When she is not working on projects or writing about them, she enjoys running and hiking in the Bay Area. Rosemary writes regularly on her website, the Project Management Perspectives LLC, on various Project Management topics.