PRINCE2 Foundation Project Management Intro


If we wanted to manage any project, we would have to have a set of well-defined processes which include a plan, a financial investment, and a plan of action to achieve project success, as you would find on a certified PRINCE2 Foundation Course.

No matter what, the Project Manager will consider a number of options within project parameters before he makes his selection.  He will make a decision on what data needs to be collected in order to fulfill his diagnostic needs about project performance – sort of like a Medical diagnostic.

A typical example:

If a Pressure Jack has to ‘pitch’ a bucket of water, through some kind of onboard equipment known as a Hydraulic upstream locator, the pressure jacks have an actuator which uses a water/ oil mix.  The hydraulic assist controls the individual controlling supply’s actuator (depending upon the differential and initial currents).

Within these parameters, we can reasonably expect that the jack has at least a 1.5 duh rate and that whatever raft and pump operating pressure to achieve a particular accuracy, be at least stab pointing as required.

If, with a good scope and plan, we could guarantee these parameters and ensure these were achieved, we would be able to accurately determine the projects success or failure.

THE BIG PICTURE:  I HAD A Duristic Training Course this morning, and throughout the course I was being bombarded with the danger of ‘branching’.  This is when, in a project, one or more of the methods used within a project, has to break away and work on a different part of a separate project.  Branching distracts the project from the main project.  A ‘branching’ event is inevitable!  However, there are so many ‘branching’ events simply because the Project Manager needs to have a lifeline for these events to happen – hence a raft – but for these events to release the water over the shoulder of the main body of the project, the Jacks for example, well, then the raft was pretty awful, right?

I have attended countless Project Management courses and for me, this is why Project Management ‘branching’ is so often in my view less successful than other processes like Process Automation, Refurbishment, and Diagnosis.  How could so much ‘branching’ possibly happen?

A Jack in a bucket

In this division of labour, the Project Managers have another ‘think piece’ – the ‘Jack in a bucket’, a respective ‘ Project Manager’ who seems to basically try to manage each detail of the project.  I have seen projects where the client didn’t even know he was involved in the project at all!  For his purposes, your name and role do not appear in any documents, reports, or communications whatsoever.  I have seen it too many times to count.

When managing a project, the Project Manager and their organization are required to ‘control and understand the overall picture’.  However, they will rarely be able to make this connection with the project or its deliverables, and notably – never know when the client will, by reason of ignorance, end up ending up playing the role of the Jack!

Project failures are a result of this structure, not a matter of any ‘managers attitude’, skill set or understanding of specific task.  The issues are too many and complex.  These are both the effect of project structure, external factors and internal issues on any project.

The solution is project management practice that calls for clear categories of deliverables, quantification of risks and record of agreements, which are critical factors to avoid these Jack-in-a-bucket risks!

And, despite this major challenge faced by all project managers, it is not usually the case that projects are doomed from the start.  It is about attending to careful planning and analysis prior to the project beginning, and ensuring that the plan will be on target to achieve expected outcomes.

So these principles became my personal opinion on Project Management!

Look-under-the- ClockThe first principle is look-under-the-clock i.e., ALWAYS make a commitment!

Do not promise something you can not deliver!  People buy commitment!

Get a written commitment!

Do not make commitments blindfolded!

Always stick to your word!

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