Jul 19, 2008

Project Progrestination

If you look around the web for the term "Progrestination" you will find a number of different definitions. It is a term that we use quite a bit when it comes to managing projects in the public sector.

For us, the term is defined as:

Progrestination n. (pro - gres - tin - a - shun) - Creating the illusion that something is progressing nicely when actually it is stalled or going backwards.

For example, when required to provide an update to my team on how our data migration project was traveling, my reply was "... the project is currently in an advanced stage of progrestination and is tracking well against stage goals...".

In other words, we are waiting for senior management and elected officials to say the magic words that will empower the project with what it needs to undertake the work (i.e. resources, money etc).

We are being told that this data migration project (and its parallel migrations being undertaken at the same time, care for a resource conflict anyone...?) is of the utmost importance and priority to enable our organization to become a unified entity. While at the same time being stalled for commitment of, well, everything.

So there we have it, the project team are currently in a heightened state of "hurry up and wait!"...

Project Impact:

Staff Morale
The mixed messages from senior management have the tendency to cause angst in the wider staff population. There is a feeling that the project team are not doing anything with the project.

Project Momentum
Any momentum we were able to create has all but gone.

Project Schedule
This project has a definite end date but the start date is being delayed. May need to review other project tolerances to find areas of compromise that will allow the project to be delivered on time.

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