- There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.
- Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. This is a kind of death.
- We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.
Your boss approaches you and tells that workplan is very good but customer wants to know how can we deliver the project sooner than promised? Now you have to come up with a new workplan or make some adjustments based on new findings. You put your thoughts together and go on to make changes/update and deliver the final document with required changes.
And then your boss asks, why this task is due this particular day and why are we taking this long to complete, etc., etc…
You might have answers for most of the questions your boss has asked but it is of prime importance that you document all the assumptions you made while planning, does not matter how small or evident those assumptions are.
I would capture following -
- why are you making these changes or what is the objective and if these objectives are aligned with customer expectations;
- what are high-level or global assumptions for the plan being put in place (standardized assumptions);
- why making change to time/scope/cost;
- what are risks that can derail the work;
- what are the opportunities that you are counting on;
- who are the critical resources you have based your work on;
- what exceptions from standard process did you make;
- what compromises are built into the plan;
- what is the impact on existing process (if any);
- for budget tail of it : dollars spent per month; and
- what are the key milestones.
I hope these are the basic questions that we should be able to answer from a Project Management perspective when talking about assumptions. Let me know what your thoughts are and what else could be added to the list?
Thanks for reading it, appreaciate your feedback.
Quotes are powerful words to stir thinking process, give new perspective on things, motivate to take action. Here are some quotes on planning and strategy that I collected from book Strategic Management by Fred David.
- Like a product or service, the planning process itself must be managed and shaped, if it is to serve executives as a vehicle for strategic decision making. – Robert Lenz
- Strategies for taking the hill won’t necessarily hold it. – Amar Bhide
- Great spirits have always encountered vioulent opposition from mediocre minds. – Albert Einstein
- A firm that continues to employ a previously successful strategy eventually and inevitably falls victim to a competitor. – Bill Cohen
- Planning is often doomed before it ever starts, either because too much is expected of it or because not enough is put into it. – T. J. Cartwright
- Planners should not plan, but serve as facilitators, catalysts, inquirers, educators, and synthesizers to guide the planning process effectively. – A. Hax and N. Majluf
- Don’t recommend anything you woul not be prepared to do yourself if you were in the decision maker’s shoes. – A. J. Strickland III
I completed listening ‘The Toyota Way’ audio-book by Jeffrey Liker. The book talks about 14 priciples of Toyota Production Systems (TPS). There are many gems that I think could be of use in Information Technology Project Managment. Here are 14 TPS management principles -
1. Base your management decisions on a long-term philosophy, even at the expense of short-term financial goals.
2. Create a continuous process flow to bring problems to the surface.
3. Use “pull” systems to avoid overproduction.
4. Level out the workload (heijunka). (Work like the tortoise, not the hare.)
5. Build a culture of stopping to fix problems, to get quality right the first time.
6. Standardized tasks and processes are the foundation for continuous improvement and employee empowerment.
7. Use visual control so no problems are hidden.