You’ve Got To Read the Signs

I don’t know about you, I’ve been on too many projects where the answer to those insightful questions on the wall in a restaurant, were unclear to the project team.   It seemed that the sponsor, wanted all three at the same time.   Better, Faster and Cheaper.   “Scope, time and cost” are traditional constraints that any project has to balance.   (I understand the most recent PMBOK lists 6 constraints – scope, quality, schedule, budget, resources, and risk)

But the point is that there are constraints on the project that must be balanced.  (Different from ‘ballance points” within the portfolio) The decisions around the constraints will significantly shape the project’s plans and execution activities.

I understand, that the sponsor wanted all those things at the same time.   But, just like my 4 year old wants everything, she can’t have everything.   It’s up to the project manager to have hard conversations about the constraints and the critical need for difficult decisions about the tradeoffs that must be made in order for the project to be successful.

Then, those decisions need to be VERY clearly communicated to the project team.   At a minimum, it needs to be in the projects charter and planning documents.   Honestly, I think a bunch of “Signs” for the project team would be a good idea.    Imagine walking into a project, where you see the following posted on the walls….

“Our number one priority is speed – we must be first”

Or

“People’s lives depend on our system –defects are not an option”

Do you think the project team might approach their daily work differently?   Would they be more aligned?

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Article source: HP PPM Blog

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