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Unformatted text preview: ir daily working times. This results in a bunch of fiction, since most of
us cannot remember with any accuracy what we did a week ago.
When people fill out time reports each week without having written down what they did daily, they are
writing fiction. Such made-up data are almost worse than none at all.
As difficult as it may be, you need to get people to record their working times daily so that the data will mean
something when you collect them. What’s in it for the workers? Perhaps nothing. However, their better
estimates (made as a result of collecting accurate information on this project) will help everyone who works
on the next project. In any case, you need accurate data, or it isn’t worth the effort at all.
When information collection is delayed for too long, the manager may wind up making things worse instead
of better. Lags in feedback systems are a favorite topic for systems theorists. The government’s attempts to
control recessions and inflation sometimes involve long delays, as a result of which the government does the
exact opposite of what it should have done, thus making the economic situation worse.
One important point about control: If every member of the project team is practicing proper control methods,
then weekly reports are just checks and balances. This is the desired condition. DESIGNING THE RIGHT SYSTEM
One system is not likely to be correct for all projects. You may need a scaled-down system for small projects
and a beefed-up one for large ones. Generally, a control system adequate for a large project will overwhelm a
small one with paperwork, while a system that is good for small projects won’t have enough “clout” for a big
project. The Kiss Principle
Follow the Kiss principle—keep it simple! The smallest control effort that achieves the desired result should
be used, and any control data that are not essential should be eliminated. One common mistake is to try to
control complex projects with systems that are too simple.
No problem is so big or so complicated that it can’t be run away from.
—CHARLIE BROWN (Charles Schultz, Peanuts)
To keep control simple, it is a good idea to check periodically that reports that are generated are actually being
used for something by the people who receive them. We sometimes create reports because we believe the
information in them should be useful to others, but sometimes we are just kidding ourselves. To test this, send
a memo with each report asking people to let you know if they want to continue receiving similar reports.
You may be surprised to find that no one uses some of your reports. Those should be dropped completely or
revised to meet user needs. PROJECT EVALUATION
As the dictionary says, to evaluate a project is to attempt to determine if the overall status of the work is
acceptable in terms of intended value to the client once the job is finished. Project evaluation appraises the
progress and performance of a job and compares it to what was originally pla...
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This document was uploaded on 09/27/2013.
- Fall '13