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									    The Ten “Uglies” of Projects


             Kerry R. Wills, PMP
      Director of Portfolio Management


       Project Summit – New England
             October 27, 2005




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                     Introduction

    • Many PM methodologies, books, and classes
    • Adequate at explaining techniques
    • Experience is what distinguishes Project
      Managers
    • Several areas that consistently cause problems
    • They make projects turn “ugly”


    Approach
    • Review uglies
    • Review proposals to address
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                    #1: Lack of Maintained
                        Documentation

    • First thing that goes when crunched


    Symptoms
    • Requirements don’t match what was produced
    • Cant use documentation for maintenance
    • No history on decisions
    • No audit trail of changes


    He who ignores history is doomed to repeat it

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               #2: The Pile Phenomenon

    • “We’ll get to it later”


    Symptoms
    • Work pushed off until later (but not on a plan)
       • Documentation
       • Training
       • Implementation planning
    • Growing logs (issues, risks, etc.)
    • Working on “the easy stuff” first

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    There is no “later” on the plan
                  #3: No Quality at the Source

    • Don’t have a culture of ownership


    Symptoms
    • Handing off work before reviewing it
    • Developing code without testing it
    • Sloppy presentation of work


    Impact of poor quality has a multiplier effect



5
                 #4: Wrong People on the Job

    • Not have right match of skillset to job need


    Symptoms
    • Consistent missing dates
    • Consistent poor quality
    • Unmotivated team members


    As PMs, all we have is our resources.



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                  #5: Not Involving the Right
                            People
    • Not having the right people enabled to be
      successful

    Symptoms
    • Having to make changes after work is done
    • Lack of team buy-in for estimates
    • Lack of ownership of decisions

     We need to enable team members to take
     ownership by involving them

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                      #6: Not Having Proper
                           Sponsorship
    • Sponsorship is critical for success


    Symptoms
    • Inadequate support from stakeholders
    • Issues taking too long to be resolved
    • Decisions not being made effectively


    Without sponsorship, projects “spin their wheels”



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                  #7: No Rigor Around Process

    • Often, process is not adhered to


    Symptoms
    • Incomplete deliverables
    • Inconsistencies between projects
    • Lack of understanding big picture
    • Lack of repeatable processes


    You don’t want to “re-create the wheel” each time

9
                #8: No Community Plan

     • No shared plan that everyone is aware of


     Symptoms
     • Lack of knowing what is due
     • Missed dates
     • Lack of ownership of deliverables


     Get everyone on the same page



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                #9: No Plan for Rework

     • There is always rework


     Symptoms
     • Missed dates
     • Poor quality

      Don’t assume that everything is done right the
      first time



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                  #10: Dates Are Just Numbers

     • Lack of commitment to dates


     Symptoms
     • Consistently missed dates
     • Items left open for a long time
     • Lack of sense of urgency


     Dates are not suggestions



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                     Interrelationships

 Lack of maintained    Not plan for rework
 documentation
                                          Wrong people on project


 No rigor around process
                                             Poor Quality


                                         Not involve right people

              No community plan              Piles


Dates don’t matter
                                                                    13
                           Not have proper sponsorship
                   Proposed Solution: Proactive
                          Management

     • Spending appropriate time up-front


     Activities
     • Create detailed plan
     • Look at plan to see what is coming up
     • Replan as items arise to understand impacts
     • Walk the floor

      You have to invest the time up-front. Think of the
      project as a marathon and your job as the person
      making sure that the road is cleared for the team
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      to run
                 Proposed Solution: Proactive
                        Management

     • Example: My commute to work




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                     Proposed Solution: Proactive
                            Management

     Benefits
     •   Can prepare for upcoming activities
     •   Can prepare the correct resources
     •   Continuously replan and assess
     •   Time to focus on quality
     •   Are better prepared for unplanned activities
     •   What else?




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                      Proposed Solution: “Do It
                          While You Do It”

     • Maintain work as you go


     Activities
     • Document work as it is being done
     • Consider implications as things change
     • Check work before passing it on
     • Use process as a guideline for work

     The result will be minimal spikes in work


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                       Proposed Solution: “Do It
                           While You Do It”

     Benefits
     • Work doesn’t grow out of control
     • Level out work flow
     • Minimal surprises at end since nothing is left for
       later
     • What else?




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               Proposed Solution: Empower The
                            Team

     • The project is an inverse pyramid


     Activities
     • Involve team members in planning
     • Ask team members how they are going and then
       follow up on items
     • Celebrate successes
     • Be honest



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                 Proposed Solution: Empower The
                              Team

     Benefits
     •   Motivated team members
     •   Higher quality
     •   Higher probability of meeting dates
     •   What else?




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                                              Results
#      Ugly                                  Attractive State Characteristics
                       Proactive               Do It While You Do          Empower
                       Management              It
    1 Maintained       - Updated               - Done during the project   - Team members own
      Documentation    documentation           - No spike at end           documentation
                       - Plan for
                       documentation
                       - Understand
                       decisions
    2 Piles            - Manageable work       - Should not grow out of    - Minimized because
                       - Scheduled in plan     control                     people will take
                                                                           ownership
    3 Quality at the   - Spend appropriate     - People do their work      - People take ownership
      Source           time up-front           rather than assumed at a    of work
                                               later time
    4 People Fit       - Recognize             - Mange work so             - Other team members
                       resource issues and     resource issues are         may take on work for
                       resolve early           identified early            failing colleagues
                       - Proper staffing
    5 People           - Avoid rework later    - Involve people during     - Team members take
      Involvement                              work rather than have       ownership for work
                                                                                              21
                                               them react to it later
                                             Results
#      Ugly                                 Attractive State Characteristics
                       Proactive                   Do It While You Do        Empower
                       Management                  It
    6 Sponsorship      - Enable support when       - Rapid and effective     - May be improved due
                       you really need it          decisions as needed       to better understanding
                                                                             of issues
    7 Process Rigor    - Repeatable processes      - Team members follow - Ownership of work
                       - Ensure proper             the process           will enable better rigor
                       attention to process        - Steps not missed    around process
    8 Community Plan   - Ability to share a plan   - Everyone is working     - Everyone is informed -
                       and goals with the team     to the same plan and      shared goals
                                                   knows where they are      - Please can manage
                                                   going                     their work
    9 Rework           - Anticipating areas        - Rework will be          - Minimized due to
                       where may be rework or      accounted for as the      motivation and
                       scope creep, and            team members work         ownership of work
                       working with key            - Aware of magnitude
                       stakeholders early to       of rework
                       address those.
    10 Dates           - Dates (and impacts of     - Will matter and items   - Team members take
                       missing them) are           will be closed when       ownership of dates
                                                                                              22
                       clearly communicated        they are due
                       Conclusion

     • Nothing new here
        • Focus on proactive management
        • Keep up with work
        • Empower teams
     • Still keep seeing “uglies”
     • The application of the techniques must be the
       challenge
     • This means that there is a fourth proposed
       solution – “be conscious”


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                      Questions?

     KerryWills@aol.com
     860-985-9235




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                           Proposed Solution: Empower The
                                        Team

     W. Edwards Deming pioneered manufacturing
      Deming Point                                    Observation
      8. Drive out fear, so that everyone may work    This means that the “iron first” technique of Project
      effectively for the company.                    Management is not such a great idea. People will be
                                                      averse to giving their opinions and doing a quality
                                                      job.
      10. Eliminate slogans, exhortations, and        I take this to mean that PMs shouldn’t just throw out
      targets for the workforce asking for zero       targets, but rather involve the team members in
      defects and new levels of productivity. Such    decisions. It also means that PMs should look at the
      exhortations only create adversarial            process for failure and not the team members.
      relationships, as the bulk of the causes of
      low quality and low productivity belong to
      the system and thus lie beyond the power of
      the work force.
      12. Remove barriers that stand between the      This is my marathon metaphor - where PMs need to
      hourly worker and his [or her] right to pride   remove obstacles and let the team members do their
      of workmanship.                                 work.
      13. Institute a vigorous program of             Allow the team members to constantly build their
25    education and self-improvement.                 skillsets.

								
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