Low Intensity Project Management

I’ve been thinking about Low Intensity Project Management lately. As a System Administrator, the majority of your focus is day to day operations. If everything is running smoothly, then you can address project work. If anybody needs anything, you drop everything and run over. This is great customer service but does not lend itself to traditional Project Management.

How can you possible schedule for things if you don’t know what your workload will look like every day? How can you work on improving your environment if you can’t use all the cool PM tricks & tools. The article outlines some prerequisites like

  • The organization offers important goods or services to a captive customer base
  • Customers must have or strongly desire the goods or services

I’ll assume that your management wants you to do more with what they have, and that your in-house employees are your customers (captive customer base). How can you best improve existing processes or introduce new tech while keeping yor ship afloat? I posit there are 3 PM items you WILL NEED.

  • Project Plan
    • If there is a project, no matter how small or ad-hoc, you should go through a project plan. Yours may not be 50 pages long and may omit certain areas if they do not apply to your project, but the exercise is valuable.
  • Project Charter
    • This is a lesson I’ve learned the hard way; even if you have identified a project opportunity, done a cost-benefit, and talked it up amongst your team. You must get explicit leadership from management in your organization or your project will fail. Or even worse, your project will succeed and greedy VPs will descend and fight over who’s idea it really was. Get an explicit charter in the Intiating phase, even for a small project.
  • Lessons Learned
    • If the project is small enough, you might be doing the PM role and the implementer role as well. Even then, you must be disciplined enough to create a lessons learned document. This will legitimize the work you have done as an actual project and help spread the knowledge to the rest of your team.

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