The Tenth D of Project Management: Disruption

project disruption

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 DefinitionDetail, Dependencies, Duties, Dates, Dangers, Documents, Deals, and Dollars.  Now it’s time to discuss the last D, which is project Disruption. All projects have an impact on people and processes, and we need to think about that as we plan and execute our project.

Project Disruption

One of the questions we asked during Definition, was “Who is involved in, and impacted by, this project.” Let’s think for a minute about what that really means. Certainly it includes all the people we are going to invite to the party, all the people who are going to help out, and the chef, if we decide to hire one. But what about the neighbors? Is this party likely to run until the early hours of the morning? How are they likely to react? What about friends you DON’T invite to the party? Other member’s of Chris’ family that will be home during the party?

This list of people (stakeholders) is likely to be quite long, and the people are likely to be disrupted (impacted, or affected) in a variety of different ways. Some of them we might not care too much about, but others are going to be very important.

So, having drawn up our list, we need to proactively consider how we are going to deal with all the people. For instance, we could make a point to invite the neighbors to the event – not because we really want them there, but because we don’t want them calling the police on us. Or perhaps we let certain neighbors know well ahead of time that we’re having a party, so they can make plans to be out-of-town on that evening.

Are you going to reach out to some of Chris’ friends, to let them know that they haven’t been invited because this is only for Chris’ college-era friends, or just let them find out about the party via “the grapevine”.

You can imagine that if we don’t think about, and plan for, how our project/event is going to disrupt/impact other people, both positively and negatively, some of those people are potentially going to end up disrupting our project, in not-helpful ways.

This completes our Ten D’s of Project Management series, that addressed project Definition, Detail, Dependencies, Duties, Dates, Dangers, Documents, Deals, Dollars, and finally Disruption. Let us know if you found the series helpful.

About Kevin Archbold

Kevin Archbold, PMP, PMI-SP, has over 30 years of project management experience with large and small organizations in a variety of industries, including automotive, nuclear, telecommunications, trucking, IT, recruiting, mining, construction, and government. Kevin has presented at local and national levels within the Project Management Institute (PMI), is the winner of a local chapter PMI Project of the Year Award, and is the current president of a PMI Chapter.

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