Free Trial

Safari Books Online is a digital library providing on-demand subscription access to thousands of learning resources.

  • Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint
Share this Page URL
Help

Chapter 18. Honor the System > “A program will weigh us down.”

“A program will weigh us down.”

This is a common complaint. Sometimes it’s born out of a false perception, sometimes out of concrete observation. It’s easy to think that project management methods are by nature heavy things that add lots of overhead to development activities. Many books (like this one) that seek to explain such approaches to method are hundreds of pages long. If that much space is needed to explain the thing, so the thinking goes, then it must be heavy. On the other hand, it’s easy to find existing programs that are bloated and lead-based, that address too much detail down to too fine a level. These kinds of programs can and do weigh down organizations. It’s very easy to overengineer a project management system. Creating policies, procedures, forms, and templates is pretty easy work. The key is to start with a strategy to right-size the system, to position its purpose as one that will seek to reduce work rather than compound it. Efficiency almost always comes by paring down, not by adding to.

To create a light, flexible, and effective project management program, it’s important to keep four things in mind. First, don’t try to solve every issue at once. Instead, focus on a manageable set of productivity targets. Next, start light. Create basic procedures and guides that ensure high-level motion in the right direction. Then, set these in the hands of team members to use, but don’t expect perfection. Give time for gradual absorption over time, supported through available training, coaching, and mentoring. Finally, plan to grow the program over time. As more and more people become accustomed to it, begin to enhance the program to help manage an extended set of activities. This approach will help avoid creating a heavy program. Instead, the result will be one that’s able to stick in the culture and become the basis for further refinement and development.


  

You are currently reading a PREVIEW of this book.

                                                                                                                    

Get instant access to over $1 million worth of books and videos.

  

Start a Free Trial


  
  • Safari Books Online
  • Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint