The One-Page Project Manager by Clark A. CampbellNotable passages from
The One-Page Project Manager
by Clark A. Campbell

Wiley, Hoboken, 2007

   I view projects as [one-time] activities with well-defined parameters, with their own time frames and goals. They are outside the the course of a job's or a company's everyday activities.
   Furthermore, a project has resources (e.g., people, money, equipment) assigned specifically to it. These resources are outside the resources used to operate the business.
   Projects also create something that did not exist before.


[]

   Projects bring together people from a range of jobs and provide them with the opportunity to collaborate in a unique way.
– Paula Martin and Karen Tate, Project Management Memory Jogger


[]

   Project management is the planning, organizing, directing, and controlling of company resources for a relatively short-term objective that has been established to complete specific goals and objectives.
– Harold Kerzner, Project Management


[]

   Scope creep, the subtle, unintended enlargement of a project (which often has destructive consequences on the budget, the people involved, and the project's time frame), can be held in check with strong project management.


[]

Aspects of Effective Project Management

Communication - Communication [up, out, down] is perhaps the most important aspect of managing any project.… The ultimate responsibility for communication rests wit the project leader. And the One-Page Project Manager becomes a vital communication tool.

Team Orientation - Projects typically cross department lines.… Every affected department must be involved with planning the project and in helping make it a success. The project needs the buy-in of those affected.

Initiative Taking: - When you own part of a project.… You have to take the initiative to make things happen.

One Leader - A project leader:

  • Must first provide the vision. It must be worth it.
  • Secures alignment of the project team and management to do the mission of the project.
  • Must build trust and frequently recognize people for their outstanding performance.


[]

Five Essential Parts of a Project

Tasks - how. Tasks are the center of a project and need to be done to accomplish the objectives.

Objectives - what and why. A project's objectives can be general or specific but are always measured by whether they are done on time and on budget.

Timeline - when. When things are supposed to be done (and when they are actually done) are monitored on the timeline.

Cost - how much. Project expenses can have hard costs, like consulting, or soft costs, as with internal staff deployed on the project.

Owners - who. It's hard to overemphasize the importance of ownership. If you know what tasks you own, you know management knows. And if management knows, management is watching; and if management is watching, you are definitely engaged.


[]

   The One-Page Project Manager gets people who are involved in the project to think and act like owners.

  • Heart - An understanding and commitment to a project's vision, complete with a clear understanding about what you own, engages the heart.
  • Mind - The mind portion of project management involves showing what the participants own and how the objectives are measured.

   Clear ownership illuminates the winners and losers, namely those who deserve to be recognized and receive commendations for jobs well done and those who need to be assisted.


[]

   Ultimately, projects are not about activities, but about successfully completing tasks.


[]

   Never hide critical issues from management or your team. Why? (1) No one likes surprises; (2) the help and support you get from others when they learn of your problems may pleasantly surprise you.


[]

   Typically, [a project's] objective would be aimed at:

  • Creating
  • Completing
  • Implementing


[]

   Kerzner says the characteristics of project objectives must be:

  • Specific, not general
  • Not overly complex
  • Measurable, tangible, and verifiable
  • Appropriate level; challenging
  • Realistic and attainable
  • Established within resource bounds
  • Consistent with resources available or anticipated
  • Consistent with organizational plans, policies, and procedures


[]

   In Project Management Memory Jogger, by Paula Martin and Karen Tate, there is this definition of scope: "The project scope defines who the customers are, the final deliverables that will be produced for them, and the criteria that the customers will use to judge their satisfaction with the deliverables."


[]

   [Good objectives] are simple, direct, to the point, easily understood, and, of course, valued. They really are, at their most basic, what the project is about.


[]

   Rule of thumb: Try to average two to three tasks per reporting period for the length of the project.… Try to make the tasks last no longer than half the project's total time horizon.


[]

   Some of the tasks are aligned with two objectives, but most are aligned with just one; all tasks are aligned with at least one objective. If a task cannot be aligned to an objective, there's no point in doing the task and it should not be included in the One-Page Project Manager.


[]

   A key to the success of any project is transparency of communication. Communication must be open, devoid of agendas, and viewable by all constituents.


[]

   What the summary should be about is why. And what you are going to do about it, what you expect to happen.
   The summary should focus on the whys that the One-Page Project Manager reveal: Why you are behind schedule, why you are over budget, why there are cost overruns, why this circle isn't filled in as it should be, and why that line is red instead of green.
   After you explain the why, you explain what you are going to do about it and then you forecast what will happen.
   The summary is where you explain to management those things that cannot be conveyed with any of the various integrated sections of the One-Page Project Manager.


[]

[Preparing a report:]

  1. Bold the Target Date [bold rule at the milestone date].
  2. Fill in Major Task progress.
  3. Designate qualitative performance [Green: adequate; Yellow: worrisome, expected to be resolved by the owner; Red: Dangerous, may need efforts beyond the owner to resolve, or may not be resolvable].
  4. Report expenditures [Green: on or under budget; Yellow: over budget, but expected to be recoverable; Red: over budget, and not expected to be recoverable].
  5. Write the summary and forecast.


[]