I have to agree that Paul is a bit of a techno-snob. Been there, said that. Then I got caught managing a "quick bit of work" that smoothly turned into a two year monster (only 26 days to go! Hows that for planning?). Without some serious planningup-front we've been hammered for budget and time and the customers (i.e. the wider business) have been really negative throughout. Sometimes I really don't know why I stuck it out (apart from sheer bloody-mindedness).
If we'd planned we wouldn't have walked into some of the major mistakes that for any other project would have had me out and the project dead. It's only the vital nature and the protection of three VPs with vested interests that have kept this one alive (think: night of the living dead).
Get planning in first. Get reality checking in often - don't worry about Gant charts - just a spreadsheet of milestones is often enough (even for a multi-million Pound project like this one). Get buy in - and then hold them to it. There's nothing more satisfying than having an HR manager praise your work through gritted teeth (because he realises the pile-o-crap he's just had delivered is exactly what he insisted he wanted (against all advice of course!)).
Get commitment, commitment and commitment. Signatures are powerful tools - especially when they get what they asked for.
You cannot do that in your head. You can't even do it in a few documents (the Project Office for this justdoitquickly-from-hell nowturns out at just over 750Mb).
I hate planning - but if I didn't do it I would still be trying to get a hold of the monster. Oh, and the first Gant chart was completed last month. Most of the tools I've seen don't really help unless you are trying to build a house or go to the moon. Software development just doesn't seem to fit with MS Project et al.
What does everyone else think?
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