Yardage Map for Projects

I’m a passionate golfer and one thing I’ve learned in +20 years of play is that – besides solid ball striking – it pays off to know the course in advance. Be prepared. Based on your skills and clubs you can develop a strategy for the course. For each hole, you estimate distances and check hazards and the way the green is defended with bunkers. Eventually, you document your findings in a yardage map for later use.

What does all this have to do with project management, you ask? Well, this post is a first in a series of blog posts where I document my yardage map for projects – everything I need to successfully tackle projects in the IT industry.

My background

I’m currently employed both as a line manager and as a project manager for 7-figure contracts – teams of up to 30 employees. In the past, I’ve documented my tips and tricks in a number of places – files on my hard-drive, e-mails, and so forth. Over the years, this got too messy and I figured out this had to change. So why not publish my knowledge in a series of blog posts? My key idea is to list must-have or must-do items for each phase of a project for later reference.

The content

This blog is intended for project managers who look for practical tips and best practices. You will learn how to sharpen the scope of a project, create a proper project plan and even more importantly, how to automagically update the plan with minimal effort. An updated project plan is a key instrument for making sound decisions. For tracking projects, I use MS Excel and MS Project and you’ll learn a number of macros. For the impatient, check out the macro collection for MS Project or for Excel.

The upcoming posts are structured along PMI’s process groups which roughly correspond to the phases of a project.

  • Initiating
    • Shall I take over the job as project manager or not?
    • Use a project definition report to avoid failure.
  • Planning
    • The basics – what do I need?
    • How do I create a project plan?
    • Check your plan with this best practices checklist.
  • Executing, Monitoring and Controlling
    • The basics – what do I need?
    • The weekly cycle – how do I update the plan each week?
  • Closing
    • Say “Thank you”

This post serves as a table-of-contents for future posts. Stay tuned for more to come.

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