I am a big fan of Michael Greer (michaelgreer.biz). I first became a fan while I was an instructional designer with his ID Project Management, which I used successfully along with other tools to continually trim my ratio of design hours to student lesson time, whether it was a classroom/lab manual, live video training, or an e-learning program.
Now I do a host of other kinds of projects, including emarketing, knowledgebases, wikis, software release announcements, crunch time preparation, Webinars, video scripts, and newsletters.
Greer’s Project Management Minimalist is a godsend to those who are intimidated and even offended at the breadth and depth of professional PMI certification.
For example, check out his one-pager on page 10 of the free preview “Quick Start Checklist: The Absolute Least You Can Do“.
It shows 9 minimal “chores”:
- Mini-Charter (Get a statement about the “tangible finished product” approved.)
- Team (Gather contributors, users, and stakeholders.)
- Go Wide (Team brainstorms a complete wish list.)
- Slash & Burn (Team divides wish list equally among “Must”, “Could”, and “Can Wait.”)
- To-Do (Team assigns “Must” tasks to specific contributors.)
- Schedule (Team estimates time and sets deadlines.)
- Start (Team will start the “Must” tasks, “Keep moving,” and “Handle scope changes”.)
- Inspect & Correct (Check punctuality, quality, completeness, then discuss obstacles, assistance required, changes required and gain consensus.)
- Post Mortem (Review “lessons learned” for future projects.)
I LUUURVE “Slash & Burn”! Unfortunately, it seems to be missing from his more detailed one-page 10steps.pdf.
So many projects suffer from:
- analysis paralysis
- technology that doesn’t do what you think it will and must be rethought
- directional changes that veer contributors off course
- great ideas that come up in the middle but break the budget
But now for thoughts from you — have you done projects at work? Large-scale? Small-scale? In between? DIY projects at home?
What have been your biggest challenges in managing your projects?