Project Sponsor (PS): Hi, unfortunately we have a serious situation on the BM project. We desperately need an engineer with the skills and qualities that Jake has, and we need him now. So, from today I want him to work on the BM project – for around a week and then he will be back to you working on your project.
Project Manager (PM): OK, have you recently looked at the planning charts I supplied to you?
PS – No, I have not had time. This BM project is really spiralling out of control and I have been working on this – indeed putting in too much time to help rescue it. We need Jake and we need him quickly to get us out of the mess.
PM – Have you considered why the BM project is out of control? They do not have a Gantt chart nor a milestone chart. They seem to have planned the project on a wing and a prayer. This Gantt chart shows you where we should be and we are on schedule. We use the milestone chart with the client to check off progress.
Have you seen milestone 21? This says we will have delivered a tested UX34 product to the client. When we do, we can invoice for £200,000. If you take Jake off the project we will not deliver the product nor will we be able to invoice for it. The agreement is that we receive payment within 7 days if we hit the milestone. If we do not, the payment terms are 60 days – terms you negotiated. Non delivery will clearly hit our cash flow. So, you decide, what’s it going to be? Jake staying or Jake going?
PS: I think I need a bit more time to sort this out.
PM: You could put Keith on the project. He is not as experienced as Jake. He knows how to plan and put together a realistic schedule. He has asked for some development in this area. Maybe this is his opportunity?
PS: Good idea, thanks
PM: Maybe you could use this as a process for looking at the overall development needs of those already involved in project work and those you want to get engaged in project management work ?
PS: Looks like you have yourself another project!
PM: Thanks, but no thanks. This one is large enough. My take on the development project is that this is pretty key to our overall strategy and needs high level project management ownership. Why don’t you manage the project with the Director sponsoring it?
PS: Good thinking. I feel we will need to discuss this with him. Thanks, my initial rush to use Jake has worked out well and I guess you must feel pretty relieved.
PM: I’d feel better if the BM project manager developed a realistic project plan and there was stronger project monitoring and control. I think Keith will help however he will need support – from you – on this.
PS: Thanks, I will go away and start to action this immediately. I will also look at the development project. It is high priority so I will put together a business case. Who manages it and who sponsors it – that’s up for grabs!
Image from http://www.freedigitalphotos.net