Continued on the next page
optional additions to the
scope were added without a full understanding of the impact to the
overall project. Other
mistakes included a lack
of a robust communication plan in order to keep
the owner and stakeholders apprised of project
planning and progress.
Finally, a lack of transparency in the change management process enabled “nice to have” desires to
become “must have” requirements.
After briefing the project owner and stakeholders, I developed a recovery plan and began implementing it. The budget was able to be recovered
though value engineering and descoping some of
the added “requirements.” Ultimately, my team
and I turned over a fully commissioned and functioning building to the owner.
As projects go, this was one of my favorites.
I was able to use my knowledge and skills and
demonstrate to the owner, stakeholders and project team that projects work best when everyone
involved is aware of the issues at hand and the
In my mind, the lesson is clear: Don’t miss an
opportunity to work on a challenged project. You
will have a chance to showcase your skills and prove
the value of good project management. In the chaos
of a failing project lies the opportunity to excel. PM
Fred Wenger III, PMP, is managing director of
Marine Corps programs and senior program
manager at The Louis Berger Group, Washington,
Master managing more than one project
at a time with these three strategies.
By Jennifer MacNeil, PMI-ACP, PMP
Earlier in my career, I worked on only one project at a time. Now that I have been in the IT indus- try for close to 10 years, I con- sistently manage at least three to
five projects at once.
These projects vary in resources (from one
developer to teams of up to 10 developers), complexity and budget. In order to avoid losing time
to task switching, I have developed
a few techniques over the years for
1. Issue a meeting agenda and meeting minutes. Managing multiple projects means attending more meetings,
staying on top of more deadlines and
assigning tasks to more team members.
That’s why I make issuing an agenda
and minutes one of my highest priorities for all meetings. It is particularly
useful for projects that review their
status once a week. Neither the agenda
nor the minutes need to be much
more than a bulleted list, but the minutes should include assigning actions to resources.
This helps both me and the team members stay
organized, as the minutes of the previous meeting
quickly turn into the goals for the current week.
2. Occasionally swap a status meeting for a
working session. Managing multiple software
development projects means my time is more valuable than ever. I can no longer afford to tackle a
unique set of
with some basic
these issues can