Category Archives: Planning

What Does a PMO Provide?

What does a PMO provide
What does a PMO provide?

I’ve written some negative blog posts in the past regarding PMOs. It’s not that I’m against Project Management Offices. It’s just that I’ve been exposed to more bad ones than good ones.

Too often, they appear to be contrived. It’s as if the IT organization said, “Everyone seems to have a PMO these days. Maybe we should too. Carl, go create us a PMO.”

Carl was most likely selected because he had the most time and they didn’t know what to do with him. So Carl brings all of the project managers together and tells them that they are now part of the PMO. As a result, they will have weekly meetings to give each other their status.

A PMO needs to be a strategic decision for an organization. Rather than just a title, there are a number of services a PMO must provide their organization in order to be worth while.

Standardization

In many organizations, they have as many methodologies as they do project managers. The logic is that if you hire good PMs with deep experience, they will know how to manage a project.  We shouldn’t need to tell them how to do their job.

But if a business unit has three active projects by three different project managers, they may become very confused by the inconsistency. Imagine receiving three different formats of the status report, and every other document you receive from the project managers.

A PMO helps the team of project managers to provide consistency in their delivery. They don’t just standardize deliverables. A PMO standardizes the methodology and how projects are approached. Whether you follow a waterfall, agile, or some hybrid in-between, it serves the organization better when the approach is consistent and predictable.

This is not telling the project manager how to do their job. Project management is not about status reports and methodology. Project management is about using those tools to prioritize, make decisions and drive a project to successful completion.

Governance

A PMO provides a global view for all of their stakeholders. They work with each one to help make sound decisions for prioritization of projects.

They understand the interactions and dependencies of all projects that are in-flight or under consideration. This allows them to consider the net benefit of each project. They then work with the business units to prioritize based on the benefit and dependency of each effort.

Sharing of resources

Many projects don’t require a full-time project manager. If two related projects require only a half-time PM, the PMO can coordinate this and manage the time of one PM across those projects.

Additionally, functional PMOs have project managers that collaborate. They share their most effective tips and techniques (their “better practices”) with each other. This creates an environment of constant improvement for the entire group.

Internal consulting service

A good project manager should have a good grasp on the business. This helps to make sound project decisions. The PMO should be integrated with strategic business. They should understand the company’s strategic direction and drive decisions based on that strategy. The PM should not be an appendage to the organization that they turn to on an ad hoc basis once decisions are made.

The PMO is a partner. Not merely a service provider.

Value

The bottom line across all of these attributes is that the PMO must provide measurable value to the business. A PMO is a service center, not a cost center.

The management within the PMO, as well as the project managers, should be in constant communication with the business units that they serve. They should have a constant finger on the pulse of what the business needs. In response, they must provide what they need from a project management perspective.

If the business sees little value in the PMO, the PMO is ineffective.

Does your PMO provide value?

If you would like to learn more about a career in Project Management, get Lew’s book Project Management 101: 101 Tips for Success in Project Management on Amazon.

Please feel free to provide feedback in the comments section below.

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Incremental Time Savings by Being Proactive

Being Proactive
Being Proactive

As a project manager, I have always tried to seek the most efficient route to get a job done. I identify the critical path.  I try to determine how to schedule tasks concurrently. Being proactive is critical to this type of planning.

There is a lot of advice out there on time management. I’ve found that the greatest aspect of managing my time effectively comes down to being proactive. It seems like a subtle thing, but the incremental gains I get from it are pretty amazing.  But I think the reason people are not proactive is that it takes a fair amount of overhead and planning.

Planning ahead

The biggest aspect of being proactive is planning ahead. You have to take the time to plan your day, your week, your year, your life. You have to have a plan for where you want to go. Then you have to develop the steps necessary to get there.

By taking the time to plan, you always know your destiny and what it takes to get there. Many people don’t plan. They rely on luck to make them successful. There is no such thing as luck.  There are only good decisions and bad decisions.

Be organized

All the planning in the world will not help you if you don’t organize that plan. Organization is a matter of writing things down. Write your plans down. Write down the steps in the path that will get you there. On a daily basis, write down what you need to do each day (your to-do list) to get you that much closer to your goal.

By having all of this information handy and available to you at all times, you can be organized enough to get where you’re going.

Prioritize

You can write lists as long as your arm. But if you end up working on the wrong tasks, you may still never realize your dreams. You need to go through that list and determine the most important items that you need to do first.

This could include items that have dependencies. If one task’s output feeds into another task, you have to do them in the right sequence. Other tasks are just more important than others. Make sure that you do the most important tasks first.

Don’t delay

On a more tactical approach, it is important not to procrastinate. Do you need to schedule a meeting? Schedule it right away. People’s schedules fill up quickly. The longer you delay scheduling a meeting, the further out it will end up taking place.

I have a process that I use with email. I create folders for different categories of emails. I use my inbox for tasks I need to act on. Once I act on them, I move them into their appropriate folder. My goal is to have as few emails in my inbox as possible. This keeps me from delaying taking any action.

Conclusion

Many people approach time management as a way to save time in large swaths. That’s good work if you can get it. But saving time also requires an investment in time. Taking the time to be organized results in incremental time savings. Those incremental time savings accumulate and result in major time savings and major accomplishments. It’s all a matter of being proactive.

Are you proactive enough to save time?

If you would like to learn more about a career in Project Management, get Lew’s book Project Management 101: 101 Tips for Success in Project Management on Amazon.

Please feel free to provide feedback in the comments section below.

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Having a plan vs. planning

Plan vs. Planning
Plan vs. Planning

As some of my readers know, I have combined my long daily commute with my interest in American history by listening to a biography of every U.S. president in chronological order. I listen more for leadership reasons than political.

I recently finished Dwight D. Eisenhower’s biography.  While Ike was seen by many as a “retiree president” who primarily golfed his way through two terms, he actually used his military knowledge for a lot of behind-the-scenes foreign policy diplomacy.

One of the more interesting quotes he is known for is, “In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.”

I found that to be very enlightening from a military perspective. The man who masterminded D-Day certainly had a plan. But he knew that there were many things that would go wrong and situations that would change.  He knew as soon as execution began, situations beyond his control would immediately cause them to deviate from the plan.

But the process of planning includes considering what can go wrong and establishing alternatives. That provides the indispensable aspect of planning.

Planning in project management

This is just as true in project management as in the life or death world of the military. Every competent project manager knows that every project needs a project plan. And every project manager knows that as soon as the plan is done and the project begins, deviations begin rearing their ugly heads.

That’s where issue and risk analysis come into play. In addition to developing a detailed project plan, project managers should do extensive risk analysis. This should be done early and often.

At the beginning of any project, the project manager should meet with all project stakeholders to brainstorm on any risks that could be faced.

With every risk, analysis should include the likelihood of the risk occurring, the impact to the project should it occur, and mitigation plans to avoid the risk, deal with the risk, or accept the risk.

This type of planning allows for many deviations in the original plan. The project manager knows how to deal with those deviations and what to do when they happen.

You can’t think of everything

I’ve experienced pushback from people in the past when it comes to risk analysis. They tell me that I’m wasting my time. You can’t think of every bad thing that will happen. You can’t tell the future.

True. You’ll never think of every possible thing that can go wrong. That’s not the point. The point is to think of as many possibilities that you can. Brainstorming like that and coming up with mitigation strategies will help make it easier to zig when things zag.

Mitigation strategies provide ideas that lead to mitigations for other things that go wrong. That’s where the planning is infinitely more valuable than the plan.

Being on the same page

Another major outcome of planning (rather than the plan) is the communication that it generates. Have you ever been on a project where people are asking “What are we doing and how are we going to do it?” They may look at a plan. But that may not make it clear.

When they are involved in the planning, they have a keener sense of the project purpose. They are also much more aware of how the project will be managed.

If they are involved in risk mitigation practices, they understand that the straight line of the plan, may be a circuitous path. But they know the end point will not vary too much.

Conclusion

Many project managers develop a plan and stubbornly stick to it. Their inflexibility can cause many problems for the project. They end up focusing more on the plan than the original purpose and intent of the project.

Having the flexibility to deviate from the plan can be the key to their success. The magic is in the planning, not in the plan.

What have you accomplished through planning?

If you would like to learn more about a career in Project Management, get Lew’s book Project Management 101: 101 Tips for Success in Project Management on Amazon.

Please feel free to provide feedback in the comments section below.

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I’ve never been imprisoned, but I have been in a PMO

Project Management Office
Is there value in a Project Management Office?

After the American colonies won their independence from England in 1783, the founding fathers feared that people would like their independence too much. They debated whether to have a constitution. Thomas Jefferson was against having a constitution because he didn’t want the dogma of so many rules. John Adams (a stubborn rule follower who probably would have made a great project manager) wanted a constitution to create a framework of law.

This is the framework of the classic debate that exists in our current day between our political parties. We all seem to disagree on how much governance people need.

We face a similar debate in the project management world in large organizations. Should we have a project management office? Do we need to centralize our project management approach for a more standardized way of doing things? Or do we hire experienced project managers and allow them the freedom to do their jobs without the dogma of inflicting our standards on them.

Why have a Project Management Office?

The purpose of a PMO is to help its constituents achieve their business objectives. Those constituents are the business groups for whom you run a project. If the organization has a centralized PMO, the business goes to them and requests a project manager to execute the project.

The assumption is that if you develop a set of good standards for project management, and have all of your project managers follow them, you will be more efficient. You’ll have a team of project managers that can run a project in roughly the same, predictable way for any of your business constituents.

According to the Project Management Institute, PMOs are designed to:

  • Reduce failed projects
  • Deliver projects under budget
  • Improve productivity
  • Deliver projects ahead of schedule
  • Increase cost savings

The objectives of most PMOs are:

Better Governance to certify that decisions are made with complete information by the right people.

Knowledge sharing to ensure that people within the group learn from other peoples’ experiences.

Support to make it easy for project teams to do their jobs with less bureaucracy, and to provide mentoring and training for higher quality.

Standardized approach to ensure consistent documentation and management approaches are utilized.

Misalignment with objectives

One could argue that that if the above mentioned things are the goal, then a project management office is a great idea. Many PMOs that I’ve been a part of have all of those objectives. Unfortunately, their execution takes them down another path.

In one organization I was part of, there was a weekly PMO meeting where every project manager took a turn giving the status of their project. Few of the projects were interrelated. This resulted in everybody wasting everybody else’s time.

Other PMOs seem obsessed with tracking trivial administrative activities. They routinely monitor timely submission of time sheets and other reporting activities. Compliance statistics – and non-compliant team members – are customarily shared in the weekly meeting.

A common objective of a project management office is to develop a standardized approach. This generally includes any document that is generated for the project. PMOs often develop a “one size fits all” mentality and requires every project to submit all of the standard deliverables. This results in PMs focused on mounds of paperwork, taking time from value-added activities of managing the project.

The irony is that the organization that was established to reduce bureaucracy often actually increases it.

How to build a better Project Management Office

A PMO’s leadership should focus on the following practices to make sure they are providing their constituents with the best possible service offering:

  • Develop a succinct list of objectives. Work with your business customers to develop a short list of objectives. Determine what they want from a PMO and focus on delivering that to them.
  • Focus every activity to those objectives. With everything you do, ask yourself the following two questions:
    • Does this help us achieve our objectives?
    • Does it add value to our customers?
  • Communicate with your customers. Meet with them regularly to verify that the objectives are still current. Find out if there are any areas where their objectives are not being met.
  • Query your project managers. Find out if the PMs see value in a centralized approach. Make sure they understand and are following all of the standards. Make adjustments where necessary.
  • Provide training. Make your meetings count by training and mentoring the project managers. Few of them care about the status of the other projects. But encouraging them to share their knowledge and experience will encourage learning and a more cohesive group.
  • Some may complain that the PMO restricts their freedom to manage the way they want to manage. It may be that their way is not as good as the PMO’s approach. But it could also lead to a discussion that results in changing an approach, or allowing more flexibility for multiple approaches.

Conclusion

Project management offices have a reputation for not adding value. To avoid this, they should take the time to determine the desired value needed by their customers. Then, they should make sure that all of their activities are focused on delivering that value.

The members of the PMO are a great collection of knowledge. They should be encouraged to share their knowledge with each other in a collaborative approach.

The concept of a project management office is almost always to provide value. It’s the execution that often takes much of the value away.

How effective is your project management office?

If you would like to learn more about a career in Project Management, get Lew’s book Project Management 101: 101 Tips for Success in Project Management on Amazon.

Please feel free to provide feedback in the comments section below.

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Risk Management: Three Steps

Risk Management
Risk Management

One of the most forgotten and ignored aspects of project management is risk management. The project plan and issues log get a lot of attention. And rightfully so. Those are important aspects of a project.

If you don’t pay attention to the tasks that need to be completed, they won’t get done. And if you don’t attend to issues, they result in delays and cost overrides.

But risk management is as important as those other aspects. Risk management is like buying insurance for the project. It allows you to be more prepared for things that could go wrong on your project.

Three steps for effective risk management

Many people don’t focus on risk management because they don’t see the value. That’s because most people don’t do it completely. People spend lots of time, especially at the beginning of the project identifying risks to the project. They document the list and store it in a project repository. Little, if anything gets done beyond those efforts.

But there are three steps that need to be addressed for effective risk management. The team needs to identify risks. But there is more to it.

Step 1: Risk identification

At the beginning of the project, the project manager should work with the team to identify any risks that could occur. This can range from computer servers not being delivered on time to the risk of a hurricane, if you work in an area susceptible to that type of thing.

Once risks are listed, the analysis begins. I like to be fairly scientific about it. It try to assess the likelihood of the risk occurring. This can be stated in terms of a percentage or a High-Medium-Low designation.

I also like to assess the impact to the project if the risk occurs. Again, you can assign a High-Medium-Low label. You could also try to assess what the actual impact would be based on dollars, time elapsed, or lost team members. If you choose to do that, it is recommended to assign real measurable numbers that impact the project.

Step 2: Identify mitigation strategies

Once risks are identified and analyzed, you need to identify mitigation strategies. It’s one thing to identify everything that could go wrong. It does very little good unless you determine what you will do about it.

Mitigation steps generally can be broken down into three approaches:

Avoidance – What can we do to avoid this risk? If you have a risk that your servers might be delivered late, you might choose to avoid that risk by ordering from multiple vendors. If one vendor is late, you have better odds of getting your other servers delivered on time.

Reduction – If you can’t avoid the risk, you may be able to reduce it. With the late server example, you may be able to pay a premium for express delivery.

Acceptance – With some risks, it is either a very low likelihood, like a hurricane in Chicago, or low impact. For those risks, you may choose simply to accept and monitor the risk.

Step 3: Reassess

Situations continually change. It is important to reassess your risks frequently. An alert project manager always has one eye open for new risks on a project. The team should go through risk assessment exercises every couple of weeks. In weekly status meetings, the project manager should ask team members about any new risks.

The existing risks should also be reassessed. Has the probability or impact changed? Are you no longer willing to accept a risk? Perhaps new mitigation strategies are more appropriate as the project has matured.

Projects are fluid and the risks to the project continue to change. It is critical to project success to always be aware of new and changing risks to stay on top of them.

Conclusion

I’ve always considered issues as risks that came true. Although it is impossible to think of every possible issue that could occur, frequent and thorough risk analysis can help a team avoid many issues from happening. For issues that can’t be avoided, risk analysis and mitigation strategies can help the team be more ready to address them with resolutions more rapidly.

Detailed risk analysis is a great insurance policy against issues taking over your project.

How thorough is your risk analysis?

If you would like to learn more about a career in Project Management, get Lew’s book Project Management 101: 101 Tips for Success in Project Management on Amazon.

Please feel free to provide feedback in the comments section below.

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The Skill of Categorization

Skill of Categorization
Skill of Categorization

Imagine going to the grocery store where food is just randomly put on shelves based on available space. You might find one brand of breakfast cereal in isle two, and another brand in isle seven.

Instead, the grocery store categorizes their products. The produce is all together in one area. The cereals are all in one isle and so on. It makes your shopping experience faster, easier, and more organized.

If you stop and think about it, most of what we do is based on how we categorize things. And the more logical the grouping is, the easier it is to be organized. A library categorizes books on their shelves by genre. Within genre, they generally sort the books by author to help you find a book easily in a large building full of books.

Categorization based on correlation

The important thing is to categorize based on some logical correlation. If the library sorted books by color, it would provide little to no value. I’ve never gone into the library looking for something green to read.

Poor outcomes occur when we base our categorizing on flawed correlations. There is currently intense debate regarding how to limit the inflow of terrorists. Should immigrants being categorized by the country they are from, their religion, or some other way? Racism roots from associating flawed correlations to broad categories of people.

When you listen to two opposing politicians debate, they are arguing two different correlations. Can we stimulate the economy by giving tax breaks to the rich or the poor? In fact, most of politics is a process of developing correlations based on categories. We categorize many of our political beliefs based on our income, age group, national region, religion, ethnicity, gender, and many other things. Many of these categorization have little to no correlation to the actual belief.

When I was a young boy in school, I remember my teacher dismissing us based on the color we were wearing. “Anybody wearing red is excused.” There was no correlation to that categorization. It was simply a random approach to grouping dismissal to avoid a bottleneck at the classroom door.

Categorizing is a skill when managing a project

Think about how often you categorize in your day-to-day work. You may categorize people based on their skill or work location. You may categorize tasks based on priority or urgency.

When you schedule a meeting, you have to decide who to invite. Most of us do that based on the category of people that need to be in the meeting. Do they contribute to the meeting? Do they need to be informed? The finance people get invited to a finance meeting. There should be some correlation between who you invite and why they should attend. Unless you just want to invite those wearing red.

I’ve often said that everything we do or say should have a purpose. Purpose is driven by correlation. Although there are plenty of random events, most events have a cause. Developing your skill at identifying causes and their effects means having a deep understanding of correlation.

We make decisions based on what we think will happen as a result. People disagree with us because they have a different set of beliefs for what will result.

For example, consider the situation that your project is running behind. You may decide that the team is spending too much time fixing issues. Someone else on the project may believe that the team is not spending enough overtime on the project.

It’s possible that either solution – or both combined – could resolve the issue. The most important point is to verify whether either of them will create a cause and effect situation. If so, determine the best solution.

Categorization should enable decision making. When categorizing anything, be certain that the categorizations are logical. Categories should be based on cause and effect rather than randomness or false beliefs. Otherwise, there is no reason for the categorization.

How do you categorize based on correlations?

If you would like to learn more about a career in Project Management, get Lew’s book Project Management 101: 101 Tips for Success in Project Management on Amazon.

Please feel free to provide feedback in the comments section below.

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Are You Realizing Project Value?

Realizing Project Value
Are yYu Realizing Project Value

I have a lot of friends who have Fitbits. They’re those wrist watch-like things that people wear to measure their heartbeat and the number of steps they take per day. Many of them compete with each other on how many steps they get in each day.

The implication of this is that the steps are making them healthy (fit is in the name of the device after all). But they should also consider aspects such as the number and type of calories they consume. If all they measure is their steps, there’s a risk of limited health benefits.

The same goes for project managers in the effort of realizing project value. You can have all sorts of metrics and measurements, but if achieving the targets of those measurements doesn’t translate into project value, you’re likely just wasting your time.

How to measure value

Continue reading Are You Realizing Project Value?

Thinking a Step Ahead of the Project Owner

one step ahead
One step ahead of the program manager

In my early days of managing projects, the tasks ran the show. I was the man with the to-do list. I filled it out every night before leaving work. Every morning I religiously reviewed it, verified the priorities, and executed each item for a successful day.

The disappointment I felt if I wasn’t able to complete the list was measureable. It wasn’t just my own tasks that I managed that way. Every member of the team had their tasks, if not for the day, at least for the week. I felt it was my job to make sure everyone got their tasks done for the good of the project.

The tactical mind

By following that task-mastery approach, I know that I got a lot done. The team got a lot done. I felt like I was managing the project effectively by following this tactical approach. And to some degree I was. I was identifying what needed to get done and driving it to completion.
Continue reading Thinking a Step Ahead of the Project Owner

Failure to Execute – I’ve Got it All in My Head

Failure to execute
Failure to Execute

I have a friend who is a really good sales person. He is also very entrepreneurial. He has worked for other people for a number of years, but I’ve always been impressed by how he approaches his work like it is his own business. It shows commitment.

He has been talking for a long time about going out on his own. I have encouraged him. He has such a deep knowledge of his industry and a lot of innovative ideas that could help people in it.

But for years, he has talked about how he has everything in his head. “I’ve got all these ideas. I just need to get it down on paper.”
Continue reading Failure to Execute – I’ve Got it All in My Head

6 Tips for Managing Scope on a Project

Managing Scope on a Project
6 Tips for Managing Scope on a Project

One of my favorite books I used to read to my kids was The Mitten. It’s the story of a young boy walking in the woods and loses his mitten. A mole comes along and crawls in it to stay warm. Then, a rabbit sees the mitten and squeezes in with the mole. After that the animals get progressively bigger. An owl, a badger, a hedgehog, a fox, and then a brown bear all squeeze into this little mitten.

Finally, a field mouse squeezes in. This proves to be too much and the mitten explodes. Besides this being a classic tale, one of the reasons I like this story so much is because it is a perfect illustration of how scope creeps into a project. People think, “just a little more” over and over until it’s just a little too much.

There is a common term of “the final straw.” The full expression is “The straw that broke the camel’s back.” It stems from the practice of loading straw on the backs of camels. Individual straws are easy to carry. But as you load more and more, the camel’s ability reaches a limit and eventually it breaks its back. There is one straw that tips the scale to the point of being too much.

Like straws and mice, small things can make a big difference. It is a project manager’s responsibility to be a defender of the scope. There are several ways in which that can be done.

Define scope in the project charter

Project managers produce a lot of documents. Some are necessary. Others are done to please a checklist. The project charter is one of the more important and necessary documents.

The project charter defines the purpose of the project and how it helps the organization achieve their overriding strategy. An important section of the charter is the definition of scope.

The scope definition should provide some high level detail about what types of functionality will be completed as part of the project. An important aspect of that is listing things that are specifically out of scope for the project. This sets distinct expectations and removes as much ambiguity as possible for the business stakeholders.

Require succinct requirements

In most projects, business requirements are defined by business analysts. It is important to ensure that the business requirements they define are complete and succinct. There should be as few loopholes as possible.

In an organization where I once worked we had a term called “spell checker.” Assume that someone asked you to design a spell checker for a word processing package. You define a simple application that will go through a block of text and identify any words that do not exist in the internal dictionary.

When you present a demo of the product, the business is disappointed. They wanted it to provide correction recommendations. They wanted thesaurus capabilities. They wanted you to check for grammatical errors.

In your mind, a spell checker is simply that. Software to check your spelling. The additional items they wanted are additional functionality outside of just checking spelling. If they wanted that, they should have asked.

When you review business requirements, consider how you would implement it. Are the any open questions? Are there any gaps? Are there any broad terms like “spell checker” that could be interpreted in different ways?

Business analysts are the liaison between the business and those who will implement the project. They have the responsibility to make sure both parties are aligned with the right terminology.

Get sign-off from business

When business requirements are complete, they should be reviewed by the business stakeholders and approved. The review should be done formally with a physical signature or an email that documents the version of the requirements being approved.

In the future if there is any difference of opinion with the requirements, there is an official, authorized version that everyone uses as a source document.

Think like a lawyer

Lawyers take a lot of criticism. Some may be warranted. Nobody likes when a lawyer defends a criminal and gets him off on a technicality. He murdered someone, but since they didn’t read him his rights, he walks free.

But lawyers aren’t paid to do what’s right morally. They are paid to defend the law. If they have been hired by a criminal, the lawyer’s job is to use the laws to protect the client to the best of his ability. The lawyer’s job is not to judge the client.

Once the business requirements have been approved by the business, those requirements are the law. The project manager’s job is to implement what the requirements dictate. If the business decides later that they want additional functionality, it can’t just be squeezed in like a field mouse in a mitten.

The business may argue that the functionality they are requesting is absolutely necessary for them to do their job. The project manager’s job is to protect the scope of the project. If the business needs it that bad, there are other means of including it that don’t introduce additional risk of squeezing it in.

Develop a strong change control process – and follow it

The most effective way to handle those new requests from the business is to establish a process to manage change requests. When a new request is identified, complete a change request form that details the change and provides an estimate for the work.

Additionally, the impact to the project should be provided. This will indicate whether the project timeline is affected, more people will be needed for the project, or whether the additional work can be absorbed in the current project plan.

Never say “No.” Once you have identified the impact to the project, present the change request and its impact to the project to the business. In most cases, the business is financing the project. Impact to the project implies additional cost. If the change is large enough, it may include adding resources and extending the timeline on the project.

The project manager should develop multiple options, if possible. Those options should be presented to the business owner to allow him or her to decide. Would you like to pay to bring on additional resources? Would you like to extend the project? Would you like to add this functionality and remove some other functionality to make time for it?

Develop a collaborative relationship with the business

Often, the project manager and business owner develop an adversarial role. The business owner wants as much functionality at the lowest possible cost. The project manager is often held responsible for getting the project completed on time and within budget. But she is also responsible for completing the project to the business’s satisfaction.

It is important that both the business owner and the project manager work collaboratively toward the goal of adding business value. If both teams work toward a balance of providing business value while managing scope and delivering a project within the planned parameters, both groups can succeed.

Be their adviser, not their adversary

How good are you at managing scope on a project?

If you would like to learn more about a career in Project Management, get Lew’s book Project Management 101: 101 Tips for Success in Project Management on Amazon.

Please feel free to provide feedback in the comments section below.

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