Managing the TBT project
a friendly eye
WE'RE OFF AND RUNNING and, as project manager, the fun bit is over. From now on your plan will be tested against reality. Your priority at this stage is to make sure that youve got enough information to steer the ship. The following will help:
You can use timesheet data to enter actual figures into your budgets and schedules and to monitor the amount of time being lost to the project.
If you break a task down into small modules, then you can create a task checklist. Every time a module is completed, it is ticked off. That way, you will have a good idea how far you have got and how far there is to go. If you are to get an accurate picture, it is important that modules are only checked off when the work is fully complete, checked and tested.
To keep meeting times down, circulate the latest copies of the project plan and any reports in advance; create an agenda and stick to it; and dont get bogged down in topics that affect only a portion of the group.
Even with a right first time approach, you will still need a system of checks and reviews. This is because it is often helpful to get a number of perspectives on a piece of work not least the clients and because some errors are always invisible to the person that made them.
The earlier in the project that reviews take place the better. If each piece of work is correct before it is passed on, then you will be building on sound foundations and end-of-project tests will become a formality.
No plan is perfect and not all eventualities can be predicted. Thats why project planning is an ongoing process, not a one-off.
© Fastrak Consulting Ltd, 1999. All rights reserved. Last revised 21/2/99