Posted on 17 August, 2008 by duardo
|Quality reporting is one of the fundamentals to a successful delivery and without it the wheels of your project will come off.
However there is no one size fits all solution. Every Project Manager and every project develops its own style, some like to keep it loose and vague taking the approach that “you can’t be hit if you can’t be seen”, while others see real benefit in tailoring and controlling messages sent outside of the project team. Whatever your approach, project stakeholders, particularly the ones paying the bills will insist on seeing regular reports.
In PRINCE2 this is the Highlight Report. The report facilitates the regular communication between the Project Manager and the Project Board and is used to monitor progress and track issues / risks. It draws heavily from the internal checkpoint reports and the project logs and its an important perception management tool for the Project Manager.
HINT: project teams usually find reporting painful as they are usually focused on what their believe they were recruited for – delivery of products - however a little bit of regular reporting can set the stage for a strong defence if and when the project comes under fire – if an environment where profit is at stake – these PRINCE2 Highlight Reports, when done correctly, are usually worth more than their weight in gold.
Filed under: PRINCE2, Templates | Tagged: communications management, portfolio management, PRINCE2, Programme Management, Project Management, reporting, Templates | 1 Comment »
Posted on 2 April, 2008 by duardo
|Project Risk Management is a topic that is as wide as it is long but it is the closest tool Project Managers have to match the powers of crystal ball, some dog-eared tarot cards and a spooky laugh.
In upcoming posts I’ll be dealing with it in more detail but for now I’m going to assume that you’re full bottle on Project Risk Management practices just so we can kick off with the Risk Log Template (or the Risk Register for those of you with a predilection for alliteration) and provide some tips on implementing it.
The PM who didn’t manage risk.
|The risk management process is based on an keen awareness of your environment and the changes that (can) occur in it but all too often the risk management box gets ticked at the start of the project then shelved.
One quick and dirty tip for successful risk management is to actually do it which means incorporating your risk assessment throughout your project lifecycle. From the project mandate to the project brief to the PID, the stage plans and the closure, risk happens!
The depth of your assessments depend on your context. They can be done formally or informally, but the key is to do it regularly or whenever there is a fundamental shift in your environment.
I’ve actually incorporated it as a weekly consideration to reflect on in the Friday Afternoon Checklist which is aimed at keeping your project on course but I’ll leave it to you on how to best approach this cycle.
Stay tuned for more on Risk Management and some Tools and Templates (we’ve only just scratched the surface)…
Filed under: PRINCE2, Templates | Tagged: business, Management, PRINCE2, Programme Management, Project Management, Project risk, Projects, Risk Management, Templates | 1 Comment »
Posted on 31 March, 2008 by duardo
The PRINCE2 product itself isn’t that practical for me but I’ve found if you’re running an effective personal time/task management system that includes note-taking or journaling, it can be a very powerful tool in the Project Manager’s toolkit.
Why use a Daily Log?
There are a couple of good reasons for capturing daily log information.
Your memory isn’t perfect…
Project management systems are great at capturing issues, risks, defects etc but you still need to have a place to record bits and bobs of information that aren’t captured in these logs because let’s face it, your memory isn’t perfect and it was you’d be making a living as a texas hold’em player. A couple of uses for a log or diary could be to record:
- Staff member performance notes
- Interview notes
- Meetings notes
- Telephone conversations
Recording notes while they are fresh in your head is a good idea as it can be a day or so before you get the chance to write up the notes or meeting minutes and in the meantime life happens, you get distracted by the next fire and you end up forgetting some key information.
…neither is theirs…
Another reason to keep a daily log is because the people you work with also don’t have perfect memories and sadly, sometimes less than perfect motives. Aside from fail aspirations of late night poker championships, project life is busy and people can quickly forget important details to important discussions.
…notes are a record of history.
And finally there is also one other very good reason to keep notes – court. Sadly some projects end up in court, so keeping a professional diary can work in your favour. Obviously this will depend on what country and/or jurisdiction you are operating in but your original notes can be considered documents produced during the course of the project and maybe considered admissible in court. If prepared correctly your notes can even be considered factual over that of a witness.
Is My Daily Log Admissible in Court?
If you’re working in a particularly litigious environment, seek legal advise on what information you have to keep and in what format. For example some of the following components maybe required to make a legally admissible paper-based daily log.
- Use a book style note book (so the page order is maintained)
- Start writing on a new page
- Identify names, date, time and topic of discussion
- Use the same pen throughout the entry
- Cross out empty space with a “z” line (so you can’t add further notes later)
- Sign or initialise and date bottom of page
Filed under: PRINCE2, Project Hacks, Templates | Tagged: business, daily log, Management, PMBOK, PRINCE2, Programme Management, Project Management, Templates | 4 Comments »