Jul 4, 2008

Project Momentum

I guess most of you who have been following the previous posts have been wondering when we are going to get down and dirty with some data migration action... Well, not just yet I'm afraid. Is this not a blog dedicated to managing data migration? I hear you ask...

True, true, however the reason we are lacking in the data area is simple; it comes down to momentum. When dealing with a large scale project like ours, never under-estimate its power.

So far in our project, we have been trying desperately to follow sound PRINCE2 project management practices but unfortunately our organization does things its own way (often, it would seem, in spite of any reasonable logic).

We entered the Starting Up A Project (SU) process a while ago and had we waited for everything we needed (according to PRINCE2) before moving on, we would still be sitting in the SU processes. The problem lies with our senior management structure and although I like to blame them (as much as possible in fact) the issues are understandable and, to be honest, expected.

In a previous post I explained our very new and widely dispersed management structure which is only just finding its feet. This has meant that although we have the go-ahead for the project, we are having difficulty getting anything else from them.

PRINCE2 tells us that all projects need a Project Board from which the project manager takes high level direction for the project. This is especially important for us as the project manager (aka yours truly) does not have the authority to do things like commit resources from the business, commit budget funds or set enterprise level priorities. Although we have hassled senior management to get their act together, they have to sort themselves out first (there's power structures to be built and reinforced don't you know...). At this stage we have a headless

We made the mistake of waiting for senior management to catch up with our fast passed schedules and in process we have lost some project momentum. People in our organization got a taste when the project was first mentioned (dare I say, even a little excited!) but because we were not able to follow up on that initial interest, we lost some focus and attention.

However, all is not lost.

While trying to get through this stalled period, the Project Team have been madly working through the Initiating a Project Stage and many other areas (PRINCE2 purists will be horrified) taking into account what we know and making assumptions left, right and centre.

Basically we are not prepared to simply sit and wait. What we hope to do when management get their acts together, is to flood the organization with our massive wave of project planning. Before they realise it, they will be swept up in the project and we will have our momentum back!

Project Impact:

Project Planning - Positive
We have used the delay in managerial decision process to gain more planning time that may not have otherwise been available. Extra time is spent on solidifying our communication plans to ensure the momentum is regained.

Project Planning - Negative
As we are currently 'headless', our planning in some areas has been based on assumptions or tentative schedules. These may very well turn out to be invalid further down the track.

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