Quality Assurance and Project Management

Dec 17 2012   10:45PM GMT

Are You Lost In Project Like These Baby Penguins In Severe Snowfall And Cold

Jaideep Khanduja Jaideep Khanduja Profile: Jaideep Khanduja

First you look at this video and enjoy it. The beginning might frighten and worry you to see baby penguins caught in severe snowfall and low temperature and probably lost their way too. But gradually at the end they reached into safe hands. That gave a big sigh of relief and all worry goes off.

Is is not that similar kind of situations arises with project team during project management. The team feels, all of a sudden, quite low and lost; like small young penguins, wondering where are the elder penguins gone. Why is there no elder penguin to guide towards the right path?

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  • TomLiotta
    One reason that I've seen in past projects is that there is often confusion between "project manager" and "project lead". Manager responsibilities are often given to a project lead, and lead responsibilities are similarly often given to a manager. While it's possible to have both roles filled by one person, the actual tasks are very different.Then I've seen project managers who were not given sufficient authority. Assignment of resources can look perfect on paper. But if the authority isn't given to move resources when needed, the plan is in trouble.One more problem comes from expecting those who are responsible for executing tasks also be responsible for estimating task time or cost requirements. Estimates ought to be made by experienced estimators. The estimators should then be accountable for significant deviations before the task workers are.During assignment of project tasks, I've often been asked "How long will it take?" Many of those tasks have involved work of a type never done before, perhaps using newly acquired tools or implementing new system facilities or some similar task that includes major unknowns. Many years ago, I came up with a standard response."I'll answer that by asking you two questions. I'll ask the second question after you answer the first one. The first question is 'How long will it take you to answer my second question?'"I've never run into anyone who didn't understand exactly what that meant. When you don't know everything about what's going to be involved, you cannot know how much it will take (or even if it's possible).Tom
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