Saturday, July 17, 2010

Project Management

"Plan the work then work the plan."

-Project Management (PMI) truism.

This approach works fine if something has never been done before (or long term where the project team may change over time), but for something short term and having been done before it is a complete waste of time and money.  If you know what you're doing, there is generally less need for formalism.  For instance, I recently completed the design of a $1.6M paving project, in a location I had done two others, for 2% of the cost of construction: on time and way under budget.The tax payers were saved about $125K.    (Of course, I already had the surfacing recommendations in hand, which would have added about $20k to the cost due to the high expense of sending out a drill crew for coring.)  A Project Management Plan (PMP), which would typically have been required had we not been able to talk management into waiving it, would have cost more about 1.5 times more money than we spent (albeit still under budget) and delayed the project (which may have over-ran the construction budget as it would have been too late in the season thus requiring the contractor to mobilize twice the crews to complete the work in the time stipulated by the contract).

The construction phase should be even more fun: now I get to verbally abuse the contractor.  Fun times.  Fun times. ..

(And all this time you just thought I was a cranky philosopher with a physics degree...)

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