Published here June, 2006.

Introduction | Book Structure | What We Liked
Downside | Summary | Postscript


Among the "unexpected" processes, mentioned earlier, is Project Infrastructure.[9] Project Infrastructure discusses a framework for project planning and control throughout a project. This example provides three pages of questions to be resolved and documented for purposes of ensuring comprehensive planning and efficient project execution.[10] Actually, this process is intended to establish the project life span or methodology to be followed by the project. Therefore, it appears to be more a matter of corporate policy and the responsibility of executive management or at least the project management office.

However, we felt that a generic version of the project life span would have been better stated up front in the book. Of course we advocate for a generic life span such as The PLS phase deliverables and executive control points or gates as shown in Figure 1 displayed here: And if that is too rich, then at least a project life span that consists of a first period that contemplates making sure of selecting the Right Project, followed by the second period in which we see that right project Done Right.

This would give the reader the framework for understanding the "When" descriptions provided in the introduction to each process and it would also have clarified some of the process steps described. Even the Organizing for Project Management[11] process misses an opportunity to advocate for a clear project life span methodology with an adequate number of executive control points or "gates".

Another unexpected process is Communicating Informally.[12] The "What" describes this process as "Periodic person-to-person communication without a specific purpose", and the steps may be "Unstructured" or "Structured". Well, maybe the purpose is simply to open up lines of communication to be ready in a listening mode. Actually, that is one important process that is not listed - the process of Listening, one that we think is particularly important in a project management environment.

Speaking of processes not listed, some significant processes that we think should have been included are:

  • Estimating Time at Completion. Rigorous estimating of time required for the remaining work to arrive at the latest projected end date is, in our view, sufficiently different to warrant a separate process description. This is not mentioned as a step under Schedule Control.
  • Estimating Cost at Completion. Similarly, rigorous estimating of the cost of the remaining work to arrive at the latest projected final cost is also sufficiently different from "earned value" calculations that it warrants a separate process description. This is not mentioned as a step under either Cost Control or Cost Estimating.
  • Maintaining a Risk Log for tracking identified Risk Events seems to us to be an important project management process worth including.
  • Maintaining an Issue Log also seems to be a valuable process similarly worth considering for inclusion.
  • Transfer of Care Custody and Control of the product to the users. This process is a vital link in the chain of achieving project and product satisfaction. Failure here can mean that a good product may never become accepted and realize its benefits. The act of product transfer is not even mentioned in Administrative Closure.
What We Liked  What We Liked

9. Ibid, p113
10. Ibid, pp113-116
11. Ibid, p92
12. Ibid, p18
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