Do you know the biggest problem in project management?
I’ll tell it to you.
It is possible to build something that nobody wants.
I have learned the hard way that it is easy to forget the basics once you get immersed in all the fancy concepts, funky language, and fancy tools for planning projects.
It all comes down to three things.
They must be done in a specific order.
How many of us have managed projects without a clear understanding of why we are doing it?
*Josh raises a hand*
You might think you know.
“Well, we’re going set up this ERP system. We’ll customize it.”
It’s not enough to be a manager of a project because a customer or government agency has given you a contract.
Whether it’s user stories in Agile development, or another method, “Why?” should be answered on many levels.
“Why” is the key word for the whole thing. “Why” for this feature. “Why” for this requirement. ?In particular, the context in which you are providing the benefit and a clear understanding why it’s beneficial to them.
Only when you understand “Why”, can you effectively define what you mean by “What”.
This is your product or work breakdown structure. Even if it is a list of deliverables it still represents the “What”.
You will fly to Neverland if it isn’t deliverables-based.
It is essential to clearly define “What” and “How” you are delivering it.
This should be your last step.
It’s often the first step for project managers.
You’re going backwards if you open MS Project or another scheduling tool first thing in the morning.
Now you’re on the right track to finding the solution. What are the deliverables? Who will do it? When will they be delivered?
These three elements of the solution can be used as a basis for estimates or resource planning.
These can only be grounded if you have your “Why” and your “What” clearly defined.
This is blocking and tackling, people.
Leave a comment if you disagree with my view that this framework is essential for any effective planning approach. I would love to hear your thoughts.
These 3 steps are crucial, if you agree, let me know.