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This is the other advantage of breaking the project into chunks we mentioned above. By having
the project broken up in this way, you will be able to start planning the first section in quite
some detail, extending out for a few weeks. But from then on, it will start to be based more and
more on blind guesswork and faith. Don't try to be artificially precise - keep it vague, use rough
As you come to the end of each chunk of the project, you will be able to plan the next one. You
can use the information and experience you have just gained from the previous section, and
thus you will be able to be more confident.
Make sure you explain this to your project stakeholders! Often your project executive may look 3 at a schedule, and imagine everything is laid out and known. You must get this idea out of their
head straight away! Explain that the early part is firmer than the rest, and make sure they
expect changes as the project moves on.
Your executive will crave certainty, and absolute dates for the project, from the very beginning.
You must resist the pressure to name a specific date, and explain why. While there may be a
temptation to give an answer (no doubt of a date plucked, essentially, from the air) you need to
instead be realistic about what is and isn't possible in terms of scheduling. Anything else can
only lead to trouble for you, the project, and ultimately your executive further down the line. Don't Panic!
Phew! That's a lot to fit into a plan! But don't worry, you won't be doing this alone.
You see, you cannot know everything you need to complete the plan, and you shouldn't expect
to. I've mentioned bringing other people in to decide what success looks like, and it is vital that
you bring people in to help with the scheduling. You will have a project team who will be doing
the work, and it is probable, if not certain, that they will have a better idea than you of how to
break down a chunk of work into specific tasks, and how long those tasks will take. Make use of
their knowledge! This has the added benefit of bringing them into the project, and helping to
start the process of turning a group of individuals into a team.
Trevor Roberts runs his own project management consultancy, and has worked as a project
manager for business and government. He also writes www.projectmanagementguide.org
where he aims to help you learn more about project management. You can follow him on
Twitter at twitter.com/trev_roberts © Project Smart 2000-2010. All rights reserved. 4...
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This note was uploaded on 03/29/2013 for the course INGENIERIA 101 taught by Professor Lauramejia during the Spring '13 term at Universidad Nacional de Colombia.
- Spring '13