I was walking locally and someone was shouting into their mobile phone:
“I can’t hear you. Speak up. Aah, that’s better”
They then proceeded to speak on the phone, not as loud but still loud enough to broadcast to anyone nearby.
“Sounds like a plan,” he said and closed the conversation.
I frequently ask those who come on our project management courses what their plans look like. I also ask, where possible that plans are brought along. I get a variety of answers to my question:
- It’s in my head
- I have an action plan. When asked what is on the action plan I get a reply – a list of tasks
- A Gantt chart is sometimes mentioned
- It’s here, on this document – what looks like a random collection of activities are on the sheets in front of me
Now let’s be clear, they are on a project management course to develop their skills, and I would not expect them to have detailed Gantt charts. But the worrying thing is this; when I ask what they have seen in the departments where they work (some people have been ‘involved’ in projects for some time), there are no detailed plans, no Gantt charts, no milestone charts.
Some of the people coming along to our project management courses are engaged in large change management projects, and I would expect that there would be some reasonable charts. But no!
So, when I overheard; ‘sounds like a plan’ you can imagine my cynicism.
So my questions to you are: what does your project plan look like, and will it help you deliver?
Image Courtesy of David Castillo Dominici www.freedigitalphotos.net