It’s Quiet Out There, Too Quiet

At any moment in time our IT organization is involved in 40+ IT projects.  An IT initiatives has to be greater than 100 hours to be considered a project.  The only way we can do this with an acceptable level of success is with the support of our Project Management Office.

Our Project Managers do not usually get involved in completing the tasks in a project (although they will occasionally pitch in).  Generally they are assisting the IT and business champions with developing a plan and managing to that plan.  There are a number of project controls that leadership relies on to monitor projects and get involved when necessary.  The status report is one of those controls.  Every Friday the Project Managers update all of the status reports.  I spend a lot of time reading status reports.

When projects are behind schedule, not receiving the anticipated level of effort or in jeopardy of not meeting its objectives I tend to get involved and see what is necessary t get on track.  Often this is just a phone call with some words of advice.  I think the phone call and attention may be more important than the actual advice.

But, some projects with glowing status reports will receive a lot of attention from me.  I am sure my IT teammates must think I randomly decide to get involved in some projects.  Our very observant CMIO, Dr. Pete Sanderson, has cracked the code.  This is what Pete recently observed…

While the status reports are an important project control, the issues list is even more important to me.  I have a sense of how many issues a project should be generating based on size and complexity.  I expect issues.  Surfacing issues is a sign of progress.  Typically the status report will identify how many issues that project is managing.  If I don’t see that information in the status report I will pull reports out of our issue tracking system.

The ideal project will have lots of issues with lots of progress addressing those issues.  On-time projects with no issues bother me more than late projects with lots of issues.

If you don’t have an online system for managing project issues it is time, in my opinion, to make that a priority.  Excel doesn’t work.  You need something that can be edited simultaneously by multiple users.  I prefer QuickBase (www.quickbase.com).  But, there are lots of options.

7 thoughts on “It’s Quiet Out There, Too Quiet

  1. Sharepoint v. 3.0 has some issue tracking capabilities. I like using sharepoint for projects because it is a great place to keep project artifacts with version control, address issues in a discussion group, display the red, yellow and green status report as well as actively track issues.

  2. Pingback: Issue Tracking As Knowledge Worker Productivity Proxy | Techy Pundit

  3. It’s true, today it’s more important than ever to be able to stay on top of your projects.

    If you’d like a tool for managing your projects, you can try this application inspired by David Allen’s GTD:

    http://www.Gtdagenda.com

    You can use it to manage your goals, projects and tasks, set next actions and contexts, use checklists, schedules and a calendar.
    A mobile version and iCal are available too.

    Hope you like it.

  4. Personally I decided to stick to TeamDesk http://www.teamdesk.net and this is exactly why: their product doesn’t yield to Quickbase functionality. TeamDesk went live years ago. We started form their project management all-in-one template and customized it precisely as we needed.

  5. By Dan D. Gutierrez
    CEO of HostedDatabase.com

    It is great to hear SaaS project management solutions are gaining respect. We launched the web’s first Database-as-a-Service offering in 1999 and recently expanded our service with a host of application templates including project management. In the nearly 10 years we’ve been in operation, it has been a challenge to get acceptance of cloud software solutions. We hear change in the wind!

  6. I’ve used Quickbase for years, for project management issue-tracking. It helped my team tackle a huge project back in 2004 that simply could not have been managed without something as flexible as this tool. Glad to read someone else endorsing it!

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