Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Here’s the secret that I tell them: You won’t understand every nuance of your
Project plan on your first project. You won’t even uncover all that Project can
do on your second project. But gradually, as you master the ins and outs of
Project and understand what you can get out of it, you’ll become better at
absorbing all that information — and at understanding how it can help you
avoid mistakes on your future projects.
The best way to gain that benefit is to review every project when it’s finished
to see what you did right and what you did wrong. Then you can use what
you discover to do better on your next project.
It was only an estimate
You know what they say: If you don’t study history, you’re doomed to repeat
it. And repeating mistakes is the last thing you want to do where project
management is concerned.
Consider these strategies to debrief yourself on what happened in your last
Compare your original baseline plan against the final actual activity
(as shown in Figure 17-1). Even if you created interim or baseline plans
to adjust for drastic changes, look at the widest gap between what you
expected to happen in your initial plan and what did happen. This can
be the best way to see the areas where you tend to underestimate most.
Review the notes you made on your tasks to remind yourself of
changes or problems that came up along the way. Insert the column
named Notes on your Gantt Chart sheet and read through all the notes
at one sitting.
Note which resources delivered on their promises and which didn’t; if
you manage some of them, provide them with constructive feedback.
For those you don’t manage, keep some notes on hand about how well
or how fast they worked and make future assignments with those notes
in mind. Also note which outside vendors performed and which didn’t
(and consider crossing the latter off your vendor list).
Assess your own communications to others in saved e-mails or memos.
Did you give your team enough information to perform effectively?
Did you keep management informed about changes or problems in a