Friday, September 30, 2011

Project Management for Real Life

Most people would agree with the notion that project management is a blend of art and science, often governed by the iron fist of a project management methodology. Using a Fancy, Formalized Methodology (an FFM™) can provide a mature and organized framework for project execution. There are several reasons why it can be tempting to use an FFM™ to drive your project.

  • Comfort: Simply put, a highly formalized approach can bring rigor and proven practices to an execution effort, and knowing it has a "big name" can provide the same smug comfort as knowing you bought a Cadillac. But
    beware: If your project or business demands agility, an FFM™ can be a slower and less responsive execution model.
  • Process: An FFM™ can provide delightful checklists and procedures, giving you a recipe of rote steps that represent accumulated best practices. But beware: Even if you follow these steps utterly perfectly, it doesn't necessarily mean the project will be a business success.
  • Reporting: An
    FFM™ has extremely mature reporting mechanisms, which can ensure thorough communication across complex groups of stakeholders. But beware: This reporting will cost your project time, which is a luxury you may not have. It's also expensive.

Successful projects depend on good ideas, good connection with user need, passion, and dynamism – not to mention good people. Remember that while an FFM™ can provide useful tools and techniques, how you apply them
is still
up to you. Look for a partner that can provide project management rigor, without squelching the creativity and agility that innovation demands.

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