We can't find a stick long enough, guv'nor, so we can't do that. But we can get you a large balloon on a stick if that's OK, then when I get a balloon on a stick, I'm not disappointed. Expectation management is another hard job for project managers (and their expectations need managing too), and they appreciate all the help they can get.
The simplistic theory is that man days are fixed and are simply divisible by the number of people involved to find the elapsed time. In projects where communication is a major factor (as it is in nearly all IT projects), this doesn't quite work - in particularly complex projects, adding people to a job may actually slow it down. This realisation was documented by Fred Brooks in
The Mythical Man Month.
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Very likely with a medium or high impactor
High impact with medium or strong likelihood. Green means
Low impact and low likelihood. Amber is everything in between. Naturally, new risks are added as they're discovered, but old risks are never removed from the register - they'll just sit there at a comforting Green.
Get stuffed, we didn't agree to do that, and there's no way we're going to do itis
Is this in scope?
Hey! It'd be really cool to separate delivery and invoice addresses to allow gifts), but if they're not in the agreed scope, you don't do them without a Change Request being accepted. Otherwise your work ends up being substantially more than you agreed to, but your budget and timescales haven't changed.
Who asked for this? This isn't right!, you can instantly stop the argument by pointing to the signoff and say
It's signed off. If you have a problem with that, it's nothing to do with me.
Of course, tensions arise when inappropriate people attempt to claim signoff rights (example - when the Technical Lead wants to sign off content in the absence of the project director (answer
When I sign off your technical infrastructure, matey, and not a day before), or when not all of those who need to sign off do so (say if one member of a board gives signoff to an external publication when the whole board needs to). But that's stakeholder management...
How does a project get six months late? One hour at a time.