Chris Croft
Tips of the Month – Archive

Project Management Tip 4


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?

It’s never too late to plan

Why PM is good

Good questions to ask a project manager

projects mostly go late because of PEOPLE -> so check for • commitment to estimates (were they pushed into agreeing to the timescale, do they still feel they can do it, ideally get them to say they can in front of the rest of the team at the weekly meeting).

• morale (if they are getting unhappy then you're probably in trouble)

• openness (people sometimes feel frightened to admit that they need help or that their part of the project is running late - they need to feel safe and supported so that they can give plenty of advance warning that they need help. This means that you must remain positive and constructive when given bad news!).

• priorities (are they working on more than one project, and if so, where is yours on their mental list? If they don't like you, or your management style, or the work is not so interesting on your project, then you need to keep an extra close watch since your job is probably sliding down their priorities list!).

• progress monitoring of FACTS (rather than "It's going fine" or "yes I'd say it'll be ready in December" you would ideally have something real that can be measured. This isn't because they might be lying to you, but because often the people doing the work get into denial and can't admit that they aren't going to make the deadline. But if you look at real facts there's no escaping it.

• teamwork (if the team is becoming fragmented, or always was, then there isn't the feeling of not wanting to let the others down which pulls out that extra bit of effort to succeed).


• A weekly or monthly meeting where everyone reports on progress and this is all put on the big Gantt Chart (ideally on the wall) is the best way to make sure that all of the above are still OK.

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