08 March, 2011

Project management tip for the day

Just finished a review of a proposed project. The usual things: cost, schedule, resources, risk, technical objectives, fit with tactical and strategic objectives...

One thought popped out that I want to share with this community:

Plan the project staffing based on the work that needs to get done. Don't plan (and size) the work to be done based on the staff you have on hand.

What I encountered was what I thought to be a one person stress analysis task but three stress analysts proposed to be working the project. The rationale given to me was, "Well, I need to cover these other two, so I stuck em in here."

That is a very human and humane impulse, but if we pad our work like that, soon enough everyone will be out of a job. I asked the team to find legitimate options for the other two analysts to work on other projects, and after a few phone calls, we found some no-kidding-around useful tasks for them, and in fact brought help to a project that was in danger of falling behind schedule.

Charlie Sheen notwithstanding, I will declare, WIN-WIN!


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