Monthly Archives: July 2013

When it’s time to NOT skip a step

During most projects we will have developed a plan often involving processes. Typically each of these processes can be broken down into a step by step method for achieving some outcome. Where things get complicated is when projects have many of these processes and steps taking place at the same time. Basics.

As we improve our skills, we begin to see steps in each of these processes which could be completed in a different, more efficient order. Occasionally, we will find ways to combine or eliminate steps entirely. This is where I would like to emphasize caution today.

These processes, no matter how well established, were likely born out of some depth of experiences. Before you twist a knob in the processes, you need to ask yourself just how many times have you observed this process in its entirety? If the answer is less than 5 – than now might not be a good time to skip a step. Along the lines of “listen first” I believe that it is highly important to sit back and the process play out before you criticize it. Highly probable that it has interim steps designed as safeguards against unintended consequences and that although you may see the conclusion on the horizon that these interim steps may insure your project’s success.

Please keep the “listen first” mentality in mind before you look to skip a step next time. That step is probably there for a reason and, despite your proclivity for innovation, you may want to sit back and let the process play out a time or two before cutting it up.


LifecycleCosts – The Value of Doing it Right the First Time

Scope Creep is a fun catchphrase for all young Project Managers to learn and learn to fear. Often PM’s can maintain their steely focus of meeting project schedule and budget that the idea of adding a dollar today to save ten tomorrow is out of the question. I’m not trying to discuss the importance of quality control today, although that is hugely important. I’m trying to highlight the opportunities that are often missed by inflexible PM’s who miss out on huge opportunities for their organization.

Of course, the counterpoint to this are the millions of projects who have been “gold-plated” or over-sold only to arrive over budget with a Cadillac which was never wanted nor needed. The PMBOK scripture regarding scope creep was borne out of many a failed project and should be ingrained as a firm line against change without approval. It is only through this approval or some combination of experience, wisdom and judgement that you will begin to see these scope-change opportunities rather than 100% evil.

Please just take this brief blog as a reminder to take every question or suggestion as an opportunity. Such scope change is not an invitation to circumvent your change processes, but it shouldn’t be stifled immediately as unfeasible or a detriment to your project.

Change is hard but it’s not always bad…that applies to your scope as well. If it hasn’t physically been constructed, it might not be to late to do it right the first time!