Wednesday, November 6, 2013

20 Reasons Your Project Planning is Taking Too Long

"Project planning" is one of the most misunderstood terms in project management. It is a set of living documents that can be expected to change over the life of the project. Like a road map, it provides the direction for the project. And like the traveler, the project manager needs to set the course for the project. Just as a driver may encounter road works or new routes to the final destination, the project manager may need to correct the project course. 

These days, many organizations spending too much time in project planning. If you want to be agile, you need to deliver software. Planning helps get you there but it can also get in the way if you over do it. According to Founder and President of DAMICON Vin D’Amico, here are 20 ways to tell if your company is spending too much time planning the project, and not enough time delivering it.
  1. The business stakeholders are asking “Is the software done yet?” and you’re still planning.
  2. The requested delivery date for the software passes and you’re still planning.
  3. You spend more time in planning meetings than you do with your family.
  4. Every time you go to a planning meeting, you meet new people.
  5. You have to schedule meetings to plan the planning meetings.
  6. You call meetings but no one shows up any more.
  7. You’ve revised the planning documents at least 5 times.
  8. The planning documents are so complex you create a taxonomy to organize them
  9. The planning document set is so large you can’t use email to distribute it.
  10. Everyone answers “I’ll get back to you.” to information requests yet no one ever does.
  11. Writing the code is expected to take 4 weeks yet the planning has dragged on for 6.
  12. People assigned to work on the project are being re-assigned.
  13. Writing your risk management plan has become a project in itself.
  14. The name of the project has changed at least twice.
  15. Your email distribution list is so long you need Constant Contact to manage it.
  16. Every time you print your planning documents the printer runs out of toner.
  17. The same issues, discussions and debates occur over and over again.
  18. The development team spends more time playing video games than writing code.
  19. The business, tired of waiting, shows you prototype software they are developing on their own.
  20. You’ve been planning for so long that the original project goals are no longer valid.

You have likely witnessed at least one of these patterns in your projects. What’s the cure? D’Amico advises to just stop, test it, and deliver it already!

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