In this series of articles we’re discussing a simple approach for managing projects – the ten D’s of project management. So far we’ve covered Definition, Detail, and Dependencies. Now it’s on to project Duties.
In the Definition post we discussed the need to ask key questions before diving into detailed planning, and we used an everyday example of planning a meal/party. In the Detail post we created a hierarchy of work to be done, and in the Dependencies post we sequenced the work using a network diagram (flowchart).
Identifying project Duties involves assigning a name to each task, to identify who is accountable for ensuring that particular task is completed in a timely fashion. Notice that this is potentially different from who is actually going to do the work – we might refer to those people as resources. For instance, Chris might be responsible for Decide on Event Theme, but she might discuss options with a whole team of people (resources). Similarly, Joe might be responsible for Create Invites, but he might recruit his girlfriend (resource) to actually write the invites, because he has terrible hand-writing. As project managers we always care about project Duties/responsibilities. Sometimes we care about resources, and sometimes we don’t. For this project, we probably don’t.
Do we assign Duties based on our own preferences? No. As much as possible we want people to assign themselves to Duties. We’ll get much better buy-in to the plan that way.
In the next post we’ll look at the fifth D after project Definition, Detail, Dependencies, and Duties, which is Dates.