Month: February 2016

Deliverables Management: Self-Evident Buzzword or Useful Technique?

The concept of ‘Deliverables Management’ has been present during much of my Project Management life but I’ve (almost) never seen any detailed codification of what this means or how to use the concept in anything more than a superficial way in my projects.  The one reference that went further than the tautological is Chocron & Krolicki’s paper called “Deliverables Management: Managing Project Complexity” (1997) presented to the PMI’s 28th Annual Seminars & Symposium Chicago, Illinois on September 29 to October 1, 1997.  You will see this referenced repeatedly in the book the Art and Science of the Deliverable (Alpha Book) In much of Project Management literature, the term ‘deliverable’ seems to have an obvious stand-alone meaning and doesn’t seem that it was ever properly described with process or usage, and therefore never properly leveraged as an effective tool in Project Management.  In Project Management’s ‘conventional wisdom’ it appears that the idea of a deliverable and its management is so obvious that nothing else is required. In my mind, ‘deliverables’ are the outcomes of projects.  And yet, in most discussions about ‘deliverables’ that I’ve heard or read, the word is simply a stepping stone to a discussion about work and tasks, not outcomes.  A mere mention of the word and off we go talking about tasks instead of outcomes, thereby, at least to me, negating the whole value proposition of the outcome focus, and...

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Project Acceleration 2: The Status of Your Project Status

Following on from the initial post on Project Acceleration, this post covers the second aspect of accelerating any project, which is to have a precise and current understanding of your project’s status and outlook against your plan. If you are going to make material changes in the team’s activities, you need to know from what base you can make the change. Another Dilemma – How much do you know? You may have a dilemma, depending on the current status of your project status – having enough current information. To make a decision on a material change in project delivery, you need a pretty rich, accurate and current set of project information.  The potential dilemma is you may need to refresh your status, which will interfere with the initial stage of the plan, as outlined in this post. As we saw in that previous post, in the first stage of assessment, you want to make an initial assessment of doability without risking disruption or other unintended impact.  So you will be in one of 2 scenarios: You have rich and up-to-date status info (tick, carry on) You don’t have all the info (read this post to see what I mean by ‘all the info’) If you don’t have all the info on your project’s current status then you have 2 options: Privately risk assess the missing info: make guesses, assumptions and assign...

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Project Acceleration 1: A Plan for a Plan for a Plan

Last post was a short clarification of the scope and purpose of the initial post on Project Acceleration, This post covers the first key aspect of accelerating any project, which is to have a plan for how you are going to go about assessing and executing this change. I say ‘change’ because a request to accelerate the project to an earlier delivery date is a special case of a Change Request (CR) to an in-flight project.  As such, the Acceleration plan’s pattern is similar to any Change Request that might come through from any party. But the nature of the change is quite different from most CR’s and so the plan has some unique aspects to it.  Bringing forward a delivery date is usually very contentious and can be quite disruptive to the team and their current mental framework.  Time affects expectations more than any other change. You will end up facing 2 options for how you go about planning and executing this change, based on whether you try to deliver the whole scope, or a reduced scope, at the earlier date. No Change In Scope Project Acceleration differs from other Change Requests in that the primary option to be assessed is no change in current scope. Yes, that’s right, the major difference to a normal CR is that the base position for the change is no change in scope.  Even if not...

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Project Acceleration. What Can you Do?

Suddenly you need to accelerate the delivery of your project! You no longer have until, say, 15th May, you now need to deliver by the end of April. Or maybe the middle of April!! So now you have to think about if, and how, your project can be accelerated. So, what can you do? How do you determine viability of acceleration, without ending up in a nett loss of momentum or progress, even if the acceleration process doesn’t materialize? Over the next few posts I will look at the key aspects of this question, and provide recommendations on how this can be approached.

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