There are some elements of projects that we take for granted as essential, and often they are. But there are still those who would like to get heretical and rock the boat anyway. In an article for the Digital Project Manager, Patrice Embry outlines a handful of practices that he thinks maybe are not always essential to project success.
Not This Time
First on Embry’s list are detailed budget and projection breakdowns:
I have a budget sheet that I usually use from project to project … that has hours broken out by week and by role, and a separate section devoted to projections for the entire life of the project. It also has a % complete tracker that compares that to % of budget used. It’s color coded. It’s conditionally formatted. It has lots of formulas and lots of cells referencing other cells. And it’s entirely too much for small or low-budget projects. Do yourself a favor – really think about exactly how much financial oversight a project needs before embarking on a robust budget sheet. And you might not need to touch projections week after week – just use them to start, and then let them go.
Second on the list, and somewhat related, are comprehensive status updates. Status updates are only important when they directly convey something that a stakeholder/client wants to know. If a stakeholder only really needs to know a few key details, then convey those details and save the rest of your data mountain for another occasion.
Maybe those first couple items on this list do not sound heretical, but then Embry gets into stickier territory: scrum ceremonies. Embry dares to say that it might be okay to combine backlog grooming, sprint planning, and sprint reviews all together on some occasions. It might even be okay to skip a daily standup now and then! Dangerous thoughts, to be sure.
One more sort of meeting Embry questions is kickoff meetings. A kickoff meeting is typically important for getting everyone on the same page from the outset, but Embry says a simpler “kickoff email” might be appropriate for small projects. Is that really true though? Let us know what you think.
For more heretical thoughts, you can view the original article here: http://www.thedigitalprojectmanager.com/6-project-management-tasks-dont-have-do/