Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Super Hero or Fall Guy

Are you a super hero or the fall guy?  There is a fine line between being the super hero/stunt man on the project or being the fall guy.  In a prior blog...Project Management vs Micro-Management,  Don't be the fall guy , I discussed the problems with micro-managing a project. 

Keep in mind the definition of a task per our Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) is 80 hours.

Have you had clients that want you to micromanage their resources and work.  They want added to the project task list, micro-tasks like call AT&T,  write order,  get approval.  LOL!  These micro-tasks are checklists that are the responsibility of the individual resources, and these resources should be able to manage their own work flow to complete a task and deliverable. 

Then to get around the two week task rule, they will turn it into milestones.  i.e... intermediate milestones.  In a white paper, Project Value Delivery,,  calls intermediate milestones the "scourge or project execution"   I call it another another technique for micro-managing.  Whether it's included as a milestone or as a micro-task this level of detail does not belong in your project plan, task list or the status report.  It violates the PMBOK rules and:
  • Wastes your time in the administrative part of tracking it
  • Increases costs
  • Increases risks
  • Reduces flexibility and
  • Wastes the time of senior management with too much information. 
In closing, avoid tracking tasks that are less than two weeks. Avoid intermediate milestones because of the added costs, risk, oversight and inflexibility it adds to the project.  Push back on the stakeholders who are asking for it.   Be the super-hero; don't let yourself be the fall guy for the larger systemic problems of the organization.

What do you think?  Please share your thoughts on this.

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