Portfolio and Project Management for Organizations That Are Just Getting Started

Getting Started with Project Management and Governance

Explore a set of achievable steps that any-sized organizations can take to begin a process of getting a handle on its projects and key activities. Once these basic tactics yield some results, you gain credibility, and then you can get fancier. The steps discussed here are not doctrine (sometimes they defy doctrine) but they have been used, they work, and they stick, in organizations that had been floundering. That's not a bad place to start.

This blog is not about how things work in organizations that have had decades of successful practice. A hesitant organization is very different from those that are imagined in the consensus best practices. There are many managers and teams who really have been burned by inept PM practices before, and many others who fear that they will have to give up their autonomy and freewheeling style for no clear reward.

Experienced practitioners will find plenty of places to disagree with the approaches suggested here, and they are more than welcome to do so.
lease help make it better by adding comments or contact the blog author, to share your ideas for topics that should be added - maybe via guest post by you ...

Speaking of guest posts, here's one that Laura Barnard was kind enough to invite me to do: it's called Be Careful What You Ask For: Best Practices are a Destination, not a Start-Point", and it provides the general "big picture" for you.

The table of contents gives you an idea of what's coming. It's going to be a work in progress. With your help.


The Basic Language: Words, words, words

Phase I - Getting a Grip

Phase II - The Acid Test: Accountability

Phase III - Smooth Running
  • A new view: the enterprise
  • Resource capacity
  • Reality therapy: balance the money, people and time
  • The picture on the box: the plan
  • Strategy: what that means
  • Bring meaning to the strategy: scoping, timing, capabilities
  • EA - as-is. to-be, transition
  • Show me the money: programming, budgeting, timing
  • You are doing what?
  • Keeping the lights on: benchmark steady-state work

  • People are asking for more meetings? Integration processes

  • Reports: more than just paperwork

  • Requirements and allocation

  • dependency management

  • testing and integration

  • risk management - buffers, reserves

  • documentation standards

Phase IV - Getting ahead of the curve Non-Phase: AGILE NOTES I've moved my Agile work over to my Pulse blog on Linked-In where it was starting to build a critical mass. Here are links to Agile-related postings on this blog: Agile in Context Existing Agile-at-Scale Models Programmatic Issues
  • How much will it cost?
  • The Matrix: staff are seldom dedicated to 1 project
Decisions that Agile expects not to have to make
  • How long is Sprint Zero of you have to define the infrastructure?
  • How long is Sprint Zero if you have to define the architecture?
Matching Agile with other efforts
  • EVM
Contracting for Agile Current Thinking

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