Chris Croft
Tips of the Month Archive

Project Management Tip 15


Blow your own trumpet

Be assertive at the start

What is a Gantt Chart?

Avoiding people problems

Listing all the tasks

Internal projects

How to discover the key project driver

Three methods of project costing

Why I love Gantt charts

Three ways to handle uncertainty

Overspend or underspend?

Why PM is difficult

My instant guide

Why review?

Some eccentric PM abbreviations

What exactly is a PID?

Its never too late to plan

Why PM is good

Good questions to ask a project manager

For those who wanted to remember what some of those abbreviations were on my course, here are my favourites:

GANTT - getting along nicely till today.

MiSP - minnows in a sea of poo (as in "We are just MiSPS and can't do anything to change the system" - not always true of course!).

PIP - Poo Impact Point (could be the moment that lateness or overspend is discovered. A good Project Manager will have known about it long before) (and maybe even done something about it!).

SPIP - Simultaneous Poo Impact Point (when overspend and lateness become evident at the same moment, as in when spend is on schedule, the finish date arrives, and you discover that the project is not finished and is therefore going to cost extra). SPIP is very unpleasant, and can be avoided by monitoring progress on the Gantt chart as well as just the spend rate.

DPZ - double poo zone - this is the finishing point of many unsuccessful projects, where they end up overspent and late. Single poo zones are overspent but early, or underspent but late - not so bad, but can still be pretty bad depending on whether time or money are your key drivers.

FWoD - Fluffy world of denial - this is where customers like to live, but in the end it's bad for them. Sometimes they force you to tell them what they want to hear ("Everything's going fine" or "We will be finishing on time") but living in FWoD for a year is not worth it if you suddenly hit a horrible reality when it's too late. If you're a customer, ask to look at the coloured-in Gantt chart regularly during the progress of the project.

MOAG - Mother of All Gant-charts.
This is what every department head should have, in order to check that the loading of all their projects is possible. It is really useful if you need to prove that you need more people, and in order to make a group of people who have conflicting demands have to fight the priorities out amongst themselves, as opposed to you promising all of them and then having to dread failing and being caught..
By the way, failure to have a MOAG will cause your customers (internal or external) to live in a FWOD. Which is fine to start with, but the roosting chickens will hit the fan at some point.

that's enough madness for now...

onwards and upwards!


BIC ("Because I Care")

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