Saturday, December 08, 2007

My rule of projectmanagement: smaller and deeper

December is for me a time to look back on the year and see what I've encountered and learned.
One observation keeps coming back every year, based on the IT projects I have done so far:
I call it the "It always gets smaller, but deeper" rule on projectmanagement.

This is the essence:

In a typical start of a project, your planned scope will look something like this:

But, after working hard and delivering results, slowly the team starts to realize that finally the scope will turn out like this:

The patterns in play:
- At the start we are optimistic, want to please the customer, maximize the business case value, but are unaware of the complexity of some of the requested features/requirements

- Optimistic planning does not cover all kinds of time-loss on inefficiencies and unplanned ubut needed activities

- During the course of the project, more and more insight develops (the "ouch, does this feature mean this/require this...." moments).

- Time pressure starts growing.... discussions on scope grow. The projectmanager will, depending on sr. level try to hide this or create an early and open discussion with the client

- Negotiations are done. Functionality is prioritized (again) - often succesful, because the client was not aware of the complexity either!

- And stuff is delivered (or another smaller but deeper iteration is started ;-))

Be aware....

1 comment:

Craig said...

Great concept and great diagram. I experience it every project myself.