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Tuesday, September 27, 2005

The Project Manager as Planner

I think everyone agrees that the first responsibility of the project manager is planning. The project manager's main responsibility is to build the high-level plan, but it is the responsibility of the line/functional managers to build in or provide the details. We know that the project manager does not or should not control the resources that will ultimately do the work, but the project manager is responsible to see that that work is done right, on time, and on budget. There are some tips that will help the project manager create a better project plan and keep the project on track.

Some items to consider are:

  • Define your tasks using non-technical language, and include descriptions or notes detailing the work involved
  • Create milestones in your schedule to help track progress and use them as quality gates
  • Ensure you have agreement with the line managers about the skill sets required of his or her resources
  • Define up front how you will measure performance
  • Define up front how you will measure quality
  • Ensure you have a strong project sponsor that is engaged and supportive
  • Use Communication plans to keep everyone informed

Doing the above (and lots of other things) will help ensure that everyone involved with the project will better understand their roles and have a vision of what the end product or service will look like.

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