11Monitoring the Progress of Your Project (Part II)

There is much more to monitor on your engineering project than just schedule and cost (although sometimes it will seem like those are the only things your boss cares about!). In this chapter, I teach you a comprehensive method for monitoring schedule, cost, technical capability, and risk … and making sure that all of these parts fit together correctly. Since on most projects your contract will require you to assess progress at least once a month, I used to call this method the monthly management rhythm, but have (reluctantly) switched to the more general phrase “periodic management rhythm.”

11.1 How the Manager of an Engineering Project Ought to Allocate His/Her Time

How do we allocate our personal time as the manager of an engineering project? There are, after all, only 40 to 50 working hours per week.

There is a strong pull to spend it on activities inside the company; you are there, and easily accessible. Your boss will ask you to attend meetings. People who are managing other projects will want to talk to you about what you have learned. Your team needs you. The president of the company will ask you to work on some long‐term planning committee. You will be invited to an endless number of meetings inside and outside your project. This pull toward inside‐the‐company activities can easily use up all of your working hours.

I believe, however, that it is very important that you spend significant time on other constituencies ...

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