Dear PM Advisor, During the planning phase, how do you deal with alternative solutions?
Both Ways in New Jersey
Dear Both Ways,
The time to narrow down your options from several to one is before the project is authroized and heads into planning. I've seen way too many projects spin their wheels during a planning session because there are too many unknowns.
How can you plan for more than one project track? That is always a recipe for disaster. Not to mention an energy drain on your team members. And how can the steering committee promise you time and money when they don't even know how you are going about doing the project? So do the best you can to narrow your project options down to one before you plan.
Not to say that you may have a few forks in the road ahead, especially on a New Product or process project where some research is excpected. But what I suggest in that case is to plan the Research Phase, then make your decision, then plan the Development Phase and ask for that amount of money and time after you are done.
Send your questions to Bruce@RoundTablePM.com