This weekly email
contains project management tips to assist you in managing your project
and your team. It serves as a reminder to manage projects with
discipline and rigor - always in line with the size and complexity of
the project. The content comes from the TenStep® Project Management
Process and may be reviewed at
Team Resistance to
Managing the Workplan
It's one thing to build a project
definition and the workplan. It's another thing to effectively manage the
project. If the project manager could just could create the plan and the work assignments and have
everyone complete their activities on-time, your life would be
much easier. However, the process of managing the team and the workplan
is more complex than that. Therefore, to understand
how the project is proceeding and to ensure that it stays on track,
management controls are needed. The project manager needs to go around and ask people how they are
doing. The project manager also needs people to tell him or her how they are
doing in status reports and status
meetings. These activities make up your
overall project management process for managing the workplan. However,
team members do not always
respond well to these processes for a number of reasons.
They may think the processes are
cumbersome and keep them from completing their deliverables.
They may feel they will be punished
for bringing bad news or doing things incorrectly.
They may not feel the project
management processes are effective.
They may have a normal human
tendency to rebel against processes that feel like controls.
The processes may not be comprehensive or
make sense. Team members may have tried to follow the processes, but found
they were not
complete or they were not supported by other people.
may feel that the project manager is not following the procedures and
so the team doesn't feel like they need to either.
They may see other people going around the
processes without consequences.
Knowing and recognizing these normal
human tendencies will help design a set project management processes that
are appropriate to the project being managed. The project manager also needs
to communicate the processes effectively, including the overall value to
the project. Once discussed with the team, it is important to apply the
processes consistently for them to be adopted successfully on the
Who Should Update the
projects the project manager is responsible for the workplan and updates it on a weekly or
bi-weekly basis. In most projects the project manager is the only one that is allowed to
update the plan. However, there are some options, especially for larger projects.
large projects, the project manager asks each team member to update the workplan with a current
status and effort hours (if the effort hours are being tracked). In this scenario, the team members
normally indicate whether their assigned work is completed. If not, they identify
percentage of the activity that is complete, or adjust the end-date to reflect when the
activity will be complete. They can also plug in their actual effort hours
for each activity so
far. In most cases, team members are not allowed to assign themselves to new work, add new
activities or otherwise alter the workplan. After the team members update the plan with
current status, the project manager can begin to evaluate the overall project status.
large projects, it is also common for one or more workplan administrators to be assigned to update the
workplan with actuals on behalf of the project manager. They can get information from team members and
update current status and actual hours worked. They can run a standard set of reports for
the project manager and get additional information from team members for anything that
looks unusual. The workplan administrators bring this all to the project manager for final analysis and
evaluation. The bottom line is that the additional staff perform much of the logistics
associated with the workplan, but it is still the responsibility of the project manager to
understand what is going on and make the appropriate decisions to complete the project
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
interesting websites, check them out
related - The Project Management Institute at
A "cool" website
- the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory at
www.jpl.nasa.gov (space, the final frontier)