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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

My Rules for Project Management

Remove people from your team that don’t ask questions, don’t talk with other team members, won’t provide documentation, or won’t do analysis.

Only people that aren’t competent won’t show off their work

Question authority or live with the result

A sense of humor can help get teams through tough times. Keep in mind, some managers don’t appreciate humor unless they initiate it.

A working meeting should have no more than five people. Meetings with more than five should be reserved for providing updates or relaying information.

Paper status reports are worth what they are printed on.

Project failure is planned at the beginning of the project. Project initiation is the most important phase.

Be honest in all your dealings.

Project managers are expected to offer their opinions, but be accountable for your words.

When it comes to project scope, what is not in writing has not been said.

Have verifiable milestones

End of project surveys must be completed and the results distributed to the team

Bad conclusions lead to more bad conclusions

Documented assumptions are believed to be true for planning purposes

The best lessons learned come from failures

Without data you only have an opinion

Data doesn’t tell the whole story.

Bad data leads to bad decisions

Senior management is usually clueless when it comes to what your project is all about

A bad project team will never deliver good project results

If your project sponsor isn’t responsive you should put your project on-hold until such time they can become involved

The bottleneck is at the top of the bottle

A project manager’s main job is to keep the customer happy

At the end of a project if you have met all scope, quality, budget, and schedule objectives, but the customer isn’t happy your project is a failure

Documentation doesn’t replace knowledge

Most people want to do good work. Many times they don’t have the tools or information they need to perform well, or they aren’t managed properly

Project managers aren’t successful if their team members aren’t successful

Not all successful project managers are competent and not all unsuccessful project managers are incompetent. Sometimes you just have to be lucky

Good project managers are insecure by nature

An introvert can’t be a (successful) project manager

A project manager with lots of enemies won’t be able to be successful over the long run.

You must be a relationship guru and be ready to fall on the sword sometimes

A project manager must be a motivator

If you don’t listen, you can’t plan

Project managers deal with change. You must be the change agent for your project. Your project sponsor is the change salesman.

2 comments:

Jon said...

Stephen,
I enjoy reading your blog--especially this post. I agree with every word! I just wrote a blog post that will release tomorrow reposting to this item. If you'd like to check out my blog, http://www.creoquality.com/creoBlog/cq/. Also, if you are a twitter-er, my ID is creoquality.
Take care,
Jon Speer

Jerry MD said...

Nice!
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Project Management