Must you do it all on your own? Let’s breakdown all: mindfulness is the first step and should be done in a solitary fashion. The manager must understand the whole. Enter the WBS. Most seasoned managers know the value and benefits to this task. Here are some reasons: manageability, more realistic schedules, effort and risk mitigation which in turn lends itself to a quicker faster approach and thus an agile mindset.
A common retort to this reasoning by project managers is that by creating a schedule of activity is in itself creating a WBS. Here is why it’s not. A WBS provides the framework for the overall project and drives the supporting documentation. A schedule of activity is one such piece so it acts in support of the framework. It is a necessary evil just as tracking the budget is. So even though it may seem tiresome do it anyway the benefits to the overall project are substantial.
The second step is the collaboration with the entire project team including the executives. It means asking the right questions face to face initially and then in whatever form works for your team and individual members. Email, Document Exchange platform, the phone, team meetings, drop by. It is important to be succinct so as not to waste time and instill a direction. Confidence is what is necessary at this point; if you have a good foundation as you have thought about the parts at their most fundamental level then you are confident about the steps. You may not know how all of it works but that’s okay. Ask those highly experienced professionals on your team. What you have done in the most rudimentary way is that you have engaged and ensured that all the team members have a common understanding of task and effort. This is a sure fire way to know that the entire team is working from the same model.
Many methodologies talk about this step in different ways: For example the Agile world has the team playing poker and breaking down tasks and effort collectively. It should not matter what approach or method the idea is to be constructive and that only comes with focus and working with others from beginning to end.
As a trained professional you have learned about phases, you have tried methodologies. You also know what works for you and what doesn’t. I am only talking about revisiting two very basic premises no matter what the size of your project- the practice of mindfulness and collaboration. The conscious decision of these practices will quite simply show you the path and then it’s up to you on how you negotiate that path.
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