Monday, December 4, 2006

December 4, 2006 - Management by Procrastination Part 2

So far it may look like procrastination has only brought us more work. We’ve taken time away from other things to create a list. How has that done anything for us? If you consider for a moment you will see that the list made everyone admit they asked for something more than what we agreed to. That probably caused things to immediately fall off the list as unimportant. In addition, as a project manager you have allowed your team to continue their work uninterrupted as you take the second step.

Prioritize. Once you have created the list determine which ones are most important. There are several ways to assign the priority. The simplest is to ask the key stakeholders which three are on the top and then work those into the schedule. This is obviously subjective but is practical. On the other end of the spectrum is taking the time to rank each one based on set criteria. Some examples of criteria that could be used include:

Return on Investment (ROI). Determine which additional items give you the biggest bang for the buck and focus on those. This requires additional work to define the cost, savings, profit and impact to the schedule for each task.

Functionality vs. Extra. If an item is necessary to make the system function better it is more important than the bells and whistles. Features that fail the functionality test can be added in the future.

Ease of Implementation. More complex tasks are going to eat away the time your resources have to complete the project. These items can be moved to the bottom of the list, effectively procrastinating them to phase 2.

However you decide which ones should be added to the project, make sure you follow your change management process. If additional budget or duration is required, get the commitment from your sponsor before moving forward.

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