Real-World Time Management

By Roy Alexander; Michael S. Dobson | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 5
SENSIBLE PROJECT MANAGEMENT FOR
SMALL TO MEDIUM PROJECTS

“At the heart of every large project is a small project trying to get out. “

—TRADITIONAL PROJECT MANAGEMENT SAYING

We know what project management is: a large, complex set of tools that produces incomprehensible charts that basically tell us only what we already know—we're behind schedule, over budget, and not meeting the requirements.

Of course, that's only part of the story. The tools and methods of project management can be extremely powerful, but only if they're the right size for the project at hand. Cooking dinner is a project, but if you create a Gantt chart and perform a critical path analysis for it, you're clearly driving carpet tacks with a sledgehammer. Bad idea. (Although I should add that if you're cooking dinner for a few hundred people, maybe a formal plan would be of significant benefit.)

There's a level at which project management is essentially time management turned up a notch. Project managers who aren't good time managers probably aren't going to be good project managers either.

Most project tools help you manage the time dimension. Time works the same way no matter what the nature of your project. A week is a week unless you're doing relativity physics. The other two project dimensions (cost/ resources, performance) vary based on the environment and the nature of your project.

-27-

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