As Project Managers we are involved in providing project estimates almost all the time. I have recently been working on a lot of project estimates. While reading some of my favorite authors articles I found this article, “What Causes Bad Estimates…And What You Can Do About It” by Dr. James T. Brown both relevant and timely.
Do you give in to the pressure to underestimate the project so the project is either sold or moves forward or do you stand your ground and communicate what it actually takes to make the project successful? I would love to hear what others think about the practice of providing estimates.
A while back I had a discussion with an Eastside ARMA member about the challenges of making recommendations for ERM systems and that I was looking for a standard to help drive the importance of good recordkeeping and governance. She suggested I look at the Generally Accepted Recordkeeping Principals (GARP) standards to use as part of the analysis.
I’ve used skills developed as a project manager to deliver multimillion dollar projects, develop an award winning airport management team, and even organize household tasks. One of my friends, nicknamed “Bubba,” also uses what he’s learned as a project manager–to raise his children.
Allowance Compliance Matrix
Every day he and his wife evaluate their nine year old daughter and twelve year old son using an Allowance Compliance Matrix. The matrix covers whether or not they’ve cleaned the kitchen, living room, and their own bedrooms; completed their homework, and are ready on time for school. Full completion of tasks results in a full allowance. Failure to complete one or more items means their pay is docked.
ECM technology has been maturing for the past few years – and with this maturation comes a wider range of price points and expertise allowing for the benefits of ECM to be utilized by smaller companies and to truly encompass ever smaller business processes and departments within an enterprise. Regardless of the size of the ECM project, each will be scrutinized by some type of cost/benefit analysis to determine whether to proceed with the project.
Today, we’re going to talk specifically about costs and the flip side of the coin – benefits or cost reductions. More specifically, I hope that the following information will increase your comfort level in dealing with ‘he/she who holds the purse strings’ – from RFP stage through negotiations that ensue regarding the trade-offs between scope, resources (costs) and time frame on your project.
You’ll often hear people extolling the virtues of leadership, and at other times the virtue or failures of management. The question is what is the difference and how does that play out within the context of Project Management. In a nutshell (yes, I am simplifying it for this discussion) the difference between leadership and management can be thought of in this way:
Management is about dealing with the complexities, logistics and issues of execution. In short, it brings order, consistency and predictability to the notion of things like Project Deliverables, meeting Quality Assurance goals, and the overall delivery of product, projects or programs, regardless of what those things might be. Leadership on the other hand is about vision, inspiration and dealing with change.
Many of today’s business discussions revolve around the fact that providing select employees with the ability to work from home, in a mobile environment, or otherwise more independently, is a positive factor towards fostering conservation and a “GREEN” initiative.
That is the proverbial question. Often times when project budgets are being developed, training is a secondary consideration. Sometimes it’s not considered at all. When you’re working with customers helping them to determine what kinds of training and how much should be included, the first thing should be clearly identifying what your objectives are (and qualifying them with the most affected stakeholder – the end users).