Friday, October 28, 2011

I have a Zombie in my Project!?!

It is the season for Zombies and unfortunately they make their ways into our projects.  Zombies feed on processes rather than brains.   They think project management and organizational processes are like a cook book and they need to be followed.  The Zombies drag others down with their one way ideas.

Zombie protection kit:
1.        Get input from all team members on projects they have been on in the past that were successful and determine why it was sucessful

2.       Define what done means, or your project may never die

3.       If you have a process that is not working well change it

4.      Don’t feed the Zombie, point it in another direction to get it away from your project
So, what is Zombie PM?  Does this sound like someone you know?
  • They do exactly what they are told without challenging anything
  • They don’t come up with original ideas
  • They don’t suggest ways to improve the project management processes
  • They don’t follow up on actions – they simply assume they will get done
  • They update and issue the plan in a format that most of the team can’t read or understand
  • They work on projects that deliver no business value
  • They go through the motions of being a project manager but without any critical thinking applied
If this sounds like someone you have worked with – you know what Zombie PM is about.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Box out your resources!

Currently I have 3 projects I'm managing.  One is the in initiation stage.  One in controlling.  And one in the closing.

For each of these projects I have different concerns with my resources.

For the project that I'm initiating I'm working with the resource managers to make sure I'm on their plan to have the resources I need based on my project requirements.  I keep them in the loop if things slip a little or if it looks like we may be adding scope.

For my project that is in the the controlling phase I have to box out my resources as others try to "get a little of their time".  There is a fine line with this, because many times you need to trust your resources to manage their own time so they can help out on other projects too.

In my project that I'm closing out I've kept the resource manages in the loop as to when I was going to release the resources so they could be assigned elsewhere.

This is a delicate yet complicated dance that we do as Project managers.  The key to this is communication with the project team and the resource managers.

Look ahead for your needs or you will be behind before you know it ....