Fast Projects: Project Management When Time is Short

Book description

"Fast Projects is a must read for any project manager. An ideal guide on how to get projects done in the shortest possible time, it provides a clear insight into project planning, execution and assessment. If you want to build a record of success on projects, then this book will undoubtedly help you in achieving your goal."

Raomal Perera, Founder & Executive Chairman of Valista.

Ever wondered what it’s like to complete a project on time? With minimum effort and no stress? And even the possibility of completing it early? Unheard of, right? Wrong.

Fast Projects shows you that it is possible to deliver successful projects on time and, unbelievably, early. You’ll find out how to plan and execute any project, keeping it on the straight and narrow from start to finish.

Whether you are heading a new initiative at work — be it on a grand or small scale, picking up a project half way through or planning a key event in your personal life such as a wedding or group holiday, Fast Projects gives you a foolproof recipe for outstanding project success.

Table of contents

  1. Copyright
    1. Dedication
  2. Books to make you better
  3. Acknowledgements
  4. List of figures
  5. About the author
  6. Introduction
  7. 1. Say ‘We’ll Take a Look at It’
    1. Don’t agree to something that’s impossible
    2. Projects are dangerous things
    3. The project ‘missile’
    4. ‘Defusing’ the warhead
  8. 2. Figuring Out the Goal of Your Project
    1. How to figure out the goal of your project
    2. Example of figuring out the goal of a project
      1. What event marks the end of this project?
      2. Make a list
      3. A point in time
    3. Bounding the goal
    4. Controlling changes to the goal
    5. The customer is always right
    6. Making sure you pick the right goal
    7. Shortening your project
  9. 3. Figuring Out What Work Has to Be Done
    1. Get the right people
    2. Identify the big pieces of work
    3. Identify all the little jobs
    4. Where you don’t know something, make an assumption
    5. Build a work breakdown structure (WBS)
      1. The parameters of a job
    6. The problem in estimating
      1. Estimating properly
      2. Making the method work
    7. Duration and work
    8. The project management job
    9. What you have to do if you’re the project manager
    10. Example of the 10% calculation
    11. Example of using this method to build a WBS
    12. How to estimate absolutely anything
    13. Shortening your project
    14. Why the one-day level of detail?
  10. 4. Getting People to Do the Work
    1. People
    2. People’s availability
      1. Dance cards
    3. Strengths and weaknesses
    4. Example of adding people and their availability
    5. Shortening your project
  11. 5. Making the Plan Bulletproof
    1. Contingency
    2. Risk analysis
    3. Putting contingency in the plan
    4. Doing a risk analysis
    5. Risk analysis example
    6. Shortening your project
  12. 6. Selling the Plan
    1. Project kick-off meeting
      1. Get the relevant people together
      2. Take them through the high-level picture
      3. Take them through the detail
      4. Show them the contingency
      5. Show them the risk analysis
      6. Deal with questions/resolve issues
  13. 7. What to Do If the Project is Impossible
    1. What to do with an impossible project
    2. Reduce what’s being delivered
    3. Query the baggage date
    4. Add more people
    5. Use the quality parameter
    6. Dealing with reasonable stakeholders
    7. What if that doesn’t work?
    8. You could say ‘yes’
    9. You could say ‘no’
    10. You could play the change control game
    11. You could accept the project but not accept the baggage
  14. 8. Executing the Plan
    1. Managing people
      1. 1. Superstar
      2. 2. Solid citizen
      3. 4. Trainee
      4. 3. No availability and 5 Loose cannon
    2. Tracking the project
      1. The project manager’s daily routine
    3. Status reporting
      1. Level 1
      2. Level 2
      3. Level 3
    4. Doing a post-mortem
      1. The completed plan
      2. What did we do well?
      3. What did we do badly?
    5. Shortening your project
  15. 9. Assessing a Project In Five Minutes
    1. The project probability of success indicator (PSI)
      1. How the PSI is measured
      2. How to calculate the PSI
        1. 1. Goal
        2. 2. List of jobs
        3. 3. A leader
        4. 4. People to do the jobs
        5. 5. Contingency
        6. 6. Risk analysis
        7. 7. Management style
        8. 8. Project tracking
        9. 9. Status reporting
    2. How to interpret PSIs
      1. If the goal isn’t right, nothing will be right
      2. 60 is an important threshold
      3. Low scores always point you at the priority problem areas
      4. You can do anything you like on a poorly planned project and it won’t make the blindest bit of difference
    3. Example of assessing a PSI
  16. 10. Scoping and Planning a Project In a Day
    1. Why do it?
    2. What’s the overall approach?
    3. Can anybody scope and plan a project in this way?
      1. Preparation – what you need to get the attendees to do
    4. Briefing note for participants in the scoping and planning session
      1. 1. Goal
      2. 2. Plan
    5. Preparation – what you need to do
    6. Running the session – Introduction
    7. Running the session – Part 1 09:00–10:45 Identify the goal of the project
    8. Running the session – Part 2 11:00–15:00 Build the plan for the project
    9. Running the session – Part 3 15:15–16:15 Do a risk analysis on the project
    10. Running the session – Part 4 16:15–17:00 Allocate next actions
    11. Tidying up the one-day session
  17. 11. An Actual Scoping and Planning Session
    1. The goal of the project
    2. The plan for the project
  18. 12. Why Projects Fail
    1. The Dirty Dozen
      1. 1. The project was never actually possible in the first place
      2. 2. The goal of the project wasn’t defined properly
      3. 3. The goal of the project was defined properly, but then changes to it weren’t controlled
      4. 4. Stakeholders and/or stakeholders’ win-conditions weren’t identified
      5. 5. The project was planned properly, but then it wasn’t resourced as planned
      6. 6. The project was planned, but with no contingency
      7. 7. The project wasn’t planned properly
      8. 8. The project wasn’t led properly
      9. 9. The expectations of project participants weren’t managed
      10. 10. The project was planned properly, but then progress against the plan was not monitored properly
      11. 11. Project reporting was inadequate or non-existent
      12. 12. When the project got into trouble, people believed the problem could be solved by some simple action, e.g. work harder, extend the deadline, add more resources
  19. Appendix
  20. Bibliography

Product information

  • Title: Fast Projects: Project Management When Time is Short
  • Author(s): Fergus O’Connell
  • Release date: January 2009
  • Publisher(s): Pearson
  • ISBN: 9780131370029