The most wrong statement from a Project Manager to the management during a project can be – “Everything is as per plan”. This is never, never possible during a project where a software development is required. If this is the statement from the Project Manager, there could be two realities behind it – one, either he is being cheated, or two, he is cheating the management (and in turn himself!, phew!). This could be due to (again two reasons) – either he is unaware of the facts, or he is trying to hide the facts. The first factor (being unaware of the facts) can be overcome with the help of some discipline and procedures, but if the second reason is surpassing the first one, then organization (both – the customer and vendor) are in trouble.
To overcome the first reason i.e. not to fall in the category of “not being aware of the facts”, the project manager has to follow certain guidelines, the prime could be:
1. Keep an updated project status report with you. (the frequency of updations could be in hours or days, but not in weeks or months).
2. The components of your project status report have to be –
Planned vs. Actual Efforts (mind it, there is a difference between the monitoring of tasks and efforts, and both play a major role in a project. Monitoring of both is essential)
Tasks requiring no “re-do” or “re-look”
Tasks requiring a “re-do” or “re-look”
Efforts/ hours “over spent”
Open bugs, risks, issues
List of customer requirements pouring in after clarification from the customer (during development). (and don’t tell me that there are no clarifications required from the customer during the development phase)
The balance efforts, with time, resources allocation and concrete plan. (this has to be as crisp and realistic as possible)