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Show me the plan

After leading and being part of more projects that you can remember, you develop a sixth sense for the health of a project. You get the sinking feeling in your gut when you observe certain behaviors and situations on the project.

For example, when every member of the project team has a different understanding of their role in the project, then you know you have a problem. If only the project manager has access to the project plan, then you know you have a problem. In fact, as the project sponsor, you may have many problems on such a project, but you are blissfully ignorant because you don't have a project plan to tell you what you don't know.

Similarly, when the end date of the project is vague, and the scope of work that will be delivered on the vague end date is not documented, then you should have the sinking feeling in your stomach. If not, then make a note to read this again in three months. You will find out the hard way that you should have insisted on seeing the documented scope statement.

Learn from my experience. Benefit from my scar tissue. Here are the most important words to quickly determine the health of a project when you start on a new project or are acting as the project sponsor.

Say to the project manager "Show me the plan."

Posted on 2/22/2011 by Wayne BothaCategories: Project Management


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