Dear PM Advisor. June 17, 2013

Dear PM Advisor, I look at the way you plan projects and you have a lot of repeating activities. For every document you create you ask that the WBS read: Draft, review, edit, review edit, approve. Are you serious? 

Skeptical in Delaware

Dear Skeptical,

When you plan to drive anywhere, do you assume you'll be able to drive the speed limit the whole way, even on on-ramps and turning corners? Do you plan on leaving your driveway at full speed and hitting only green lights? If so, go ahead and plan on creating documents and having them approved immediately. The rest of us who live in a place called 'The Real World' will continue to plan our projects based on reality.

The number of rounds of review you typically require to get a document to the point of being approved is what you should place in your Work Breakdown Structure. Each of these activities must be planned for, someone must take responsibility for them and they must appear in the schedule. If not, you are left with two options, both of them bad:

  1. Plan on every document being approved immediately after drafting
  2. Write more general activities like: 'Complete document A'
The first option guarantees you will be delayed on your project as each activity comes in late.
The second option leaves you with fingers pointing between the drafter and reviewer of the document as to who is responsible for its delay.
Good luck,
PM Advisor
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