Discuss the following questions with a partner:
What types of project do you work on in collaboration with other people?
What are some of the challenges involved when planning a large project?
Now take a s elf evaluation quiz: ‘How Good Are Your Project Management Skills?’
For each statement, choose the best describes you. Please answer questions as you actually are (rather than how you think you should be), and don't worry if some questions seem to score in the 'wrong direction'. When you are finished, please calculate your total at the bottom of the test.
I communicate what needs to be done by what deadline, and expect the people to whom I assign the work to be responsible for breaking down the work packages into smaller and more manageable pieces.
When I choose suppliers, I base my decision on their ability to deliver on time as well as on price.
I prepare a specific timeline and sequence of activities, and I use this schedule to manage the overall project to ensure its timely completion.
When a project begins, I work with its sponsor to negotiate and agree specific deliverables.
Project teams are only temporary, so I don’t worry too much about personalities. I select team members based on the technical skills I need.
At the start of a project, I formally outline what, why, who, how, and when with a Project Initiation Document – so everyone can understand how the elements of the project fit together.
I consider a variety of cost alternatives when developing my original project budget plan.
I outline clear expectations for the project team, and I manage their individual and collective performance as part of the overall project evaluation process.
When a project gets behind schedule, I work with my team to find a solution rather than assign blame.
I identify as many potential project risks as I can, and I develop a plan to manage or minimize each one of them, large or small.
Because projects involve so many variables that change so often, I let the plan develop on its own, as time passes, for maximum flexibility.
I use customer/stakeholder requirements as the main measure of quality for the projects I manage.
I routinely monitor and revaluate significant risks as the project continues.
I give people a deadline to complete their project work, and then I expect them to coordinate with others if and when they need to.
I keep all project stakeholders informed and up-to-date with regular meetings and distribution of all performance reports, status changes, and other project documents.
I define specifically what the stakeholders need and expect from the project, and I use these expectations to define and manage the project's scope.
Forecasting costs is more art than science, so I include extra funds in the budget and hope that I’m under cost at the end.
I present project status information in an easy-to-use and easy-to-access format to meet stakeholders' information needs.
Delivering on time and on budget are the most important things for me.
When I contract for goods or services, I often choose suppliers based on familiarity and the past relationship with my organization.
Oh dear. Right now, you may be focusing mostly on day-to-day activities rather than the bigger picture. If you spend more time on planning and preparation, you'll see a big improvement in your project outcomes. And you'll have more time to spend on productive work rather than dealing with last-minute surprises. As part of planning…