What everyone needs to know about project management

Guerrilla Guide to Non-Project Management

Sometimes one's efforts at project management are not appreciated.

The official project manager is touchy about your efforts to move the project along. Perhaps you have even been told that project management isn't your job. What do you do?

Or the people you work with see project management as unnecessary overhead, a waste of time. Unfortunately, you are the project manager and need their cooperation. What do you do?

Perhaps we can learn from Juliet's comment that "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet". It matters that people understand and appreciate project management and that everyone takes responsibility for "project management" tasks. (That is, after all, the main purpose of this web site.) But it matters more that people do what needs to be done to make successful projects.

If calling your work "project management" creates obstacles, maybe you should call it something else like "doing what makes sense".

Here are some ideas. (This list will grow over time. Stay tuned.)

Ideas and Sample Phrases

If everyone thinks you are wasting time with your project management tasks, maybe you are! Take a close look at them and strip them down to the essentials. Don't waste your time on the barnacles that attach themselves to project management procedures over time. (Brian - 050208)

Place their needs first. If the team doesn't understand or appreciate project management, you are more likely to win them over by demonstrating that you care about what is important to them. (Brian - 041218)

Staff Planning is your job. I am just trying to figure out when we need to start looking for people to have them here on time. (Brian - 040925)

No, I'm not trying to rework your Scope Statement. I just wrote down my understanding of what we are trying to do so that other people can point out what I've misunderstood. (Brian - 040918)

Beware of boiler plate, the filler in a document that is obviously not specific to this project and is iffy in its contribution. It may not be a lot of extra work to insert the boiler plate, but worse, it creates unnecessary work for everyone who reads it. (Brian - 040912)

Instead of doing a Risk Assessment, let's figure out how we can avoid any problems that could keep us from finishing the project successfully. (Brian - 040908)

As you look at your project management responsibilities, note which ones will be appreciated by your team and your customer. Start with those. This will win you the credibility that you need for the ones they don't value. (Brian - 040904)

No, I'm not doing a Training Needs Assessment. I'm just trying to figure out what else people on the team need to know to get their tasks done. (Brian - 040902)

No, I'm not Defining the Project Scope, I'm just trying to get clear on what we are supposed to accomplish. (Brian - 040830)