Critical path (1)

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Posted by Finlay on 6th Sep 2014

We have all witnessed it, project professionals championing governance and controls one minute and then bypassing it all when a ‘just do it’ project
comes along. You might think I am being naive and that some projects just can’t wait for the full gamut of initiation to begin, but a complete disregard for basic protocols will have consequences for your organisation.

First, it sets a dangerous precedent. When the gateway into the portfolio is deemed laissez-faire, then don’t be surprised to receive continuous
‘just do it’ requests with vague requirements.

The impact may not be immediate, but you will find your PMs spending additional hours trying to reconcile delivery against nonexistent or vague
parameters.

A bypass route will also contribute to a culture where PMs will start to take their own short cuts and will lose faith in the validity of governance and
controls. Here are a few points that have helped me over the years. Be bold; explain the value of baselining requirements to the executive. Explain the negative impact JDI culture has on the PM community.

Regardless of assurances you have been given on financial coverage from ‘slush fund xyz’, insist on getting in writing specifically where the project
will be funded from, or be prepared to forever chase your tail when attempting to reconcile financials later on.

JDI projects usually come in at short notice and therefore don’t always have user stakeholders defined. At minimum insist on getting the name
of the person signing off requirements and acceptance. Failure to get this may result in continuous scope creep while the PM is sent from pillar to
post trying to get clarity.

Biography
Mo Badat has 13 years’ experience as programme and portfolio manager, with key expertise in establishing EPM discipline.


This article first appeared in Project magazine. APM members can read all feature articles from Project magazine over recent years by accessing the Project magazine archive.

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