Dear PM Advisor. April 1, 2013

Dear PM Advisor, We currently don't budget our internal projects. We keep track of neither dollars of internal resources or even hours. I brought this up to management and their response is that there is no need to since we are already paid. What's wrong with this argument?

Free in Florida.

Dear Free,

Of course there's no need to account for your hours. Since the company pays you for your time already, you work for free. And that way they can give you thousands of projects because your time is free and you have infinite hours available.

April Fools!

This error is pretty common in many companies that have a low level of Project Management maturity. By not accounting for at a minimum the number of hours you work, your company is not accounting for the opportunity cost of you working on the new project. By piling more and more projects on top of your existing work the current projects fall further and further behind.

Start by accounting for the hours you are required to work for your project. Then account for the hours required by the other projects and the hours required by your ongoing operations. This should not add up to more than about 45 hours per week. If it does, you have no time for your family. And a proper work-life balance is the most important thing to have.

If it does add up to more than 45 hours per week, you need to prioritize your work so that you do the most important work first and the rest in order. Multitasking is not the answer. If your company does not prioritize your work, you need to do it yourself.

You are doing no-one any favors starting ten projects a year. You only add value to the company by finishing three projects a year.

Good luck,

PM Advisor

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