"With all the training behind us, it's time to get into maintenance mode," I thought as I entered this week's steering committee meeting. I asked for the names of any projects that had ended based on last week's discussion that suggested two or three should be over by now. While the CEO thought one was complete, the other members said that their team members were still working on it. A new project is about to start that is taking resources from existing projects which brought up the question: If a project is not authorized yet, should it have the right to use resources? Well, since the possibility is high that we get this project and it has the potential of making us millions of dollars - yes.
So we moved that project into the priority list at around 7 and moved around some more until we were satisfied with the top 25.
The next question was, why aren't we using the project charter template? So we agreed to ask all the PMs to use the template by the end of next week, just in time for the next steering committee meeting. Sarah and Mike will help them accomplish this task.
We also decided to ask them all to come up with the elements of a project schedule as well so we can start using the below dashboard to see which projects we have to apply pressure on.
This dashboard was a good starting point but we found improvements.
- Make it the first part of the resourcing worksheet so we don't need to update project priority list and PMs in two places.
- Add variance in schedule and budget.
- Use conditional formatting to show project %Complete.
There is still work to be done. That should take up most of Mike and Sarah's time this week.
Notice our CEO asked the technical experts to be the PMs of their projects. As soon as we started asking them to perform PM tasks we received push-back. Luckily he was there to witness this so we had a quick conversation, reminding him of the difference between a technical leader and a Project Manager. He agreed to switch out the roles and Mike and Sarah split up some of the projects that lacked PMs between themselves.
I'm looking forward to the progress we will make this week but I am one of the PMs so I will need to fill out a charter template and come up with a schedule for my two projects.
One last thing we decided was that small projects could use the charter template for the few milestones that exist and need not create a schedule or status report. Their status reporting can be a tab on the dashboard file that Sarah had hyperlinked up the the dashboard. Larger projects will need more formal documents for each.