Last week I went down with something like the Flu. I was in bed with a fever, switching from chills to sweats and back for the full weekend and two business days. I returned to the office on Wednesday, but was at no more than 50%. I think that today, Monday, is my first full capacity day in over a week.
As you may imagine, my projects suffered a bit. One project is in Design, that took the smaller hit. The other project is in early planning stage, and this project basically lost a week due to my illness.
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This means that it is most important to have contingency or mitigation plans in place for the initial planning phase of the project (when the PM is most heavily engaged).
The question becomes - how to limit the effect of a PM's temporary illness - during the critical initial planning phase of a project.
My Prescription is simple: Do Everything Possible to Shorten the Planning Phase
Six Ways to Shorten the Planning Phase
- Use a workshop approach to Planning:
- Get everyone in a room for a morning to hammer out the plan.
- Get Approval (Conditional Approval if needed) before the workshop ends.
- Add additional PMs to exercise (or develop) specific skills
- Assign a PM to each Planning Deliverable (Charter, Schedule, Budget, Etc.)
- Note the added benefit, multiple PMs now understand the objective and scope of your project.