Project Management Tips

10. Who Updates the Workplan?

Courtesy of TenStep, Inc.

In most projects the project manager is responsible for the workplan and should update the workplan on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. In some cases, the project manager may ask each team member to update the workplan indicating whether their assigned work is completed.Team members typically are not allowed to assign themselves to new work, add new activities or otherwise alter the workplan. After the team members update the plan with current status, the project manager can evaluate the overall project status.

Team Resistance to Managing the Workplan

It's one thing to build a project definition and the workplan. It's another thing to effectively manage the project. If you could issue the plan and the work assignments and have everyone complete their activities on-time, the project manager's life would be much easier. However, the process of managing the team and the workplan is complicated because people don't always complete their work as expected.

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To understand how the project is proceeding and to ensure that it stays on track, the project manager needs to work with people and understand how the assigned activities are progressing. The project manager may need to go around and ask people how they are doing. The project manager may need people to send status reports and attend status meetings to understand the work status. However, people do not always respond well to these processes for a number of reasons.

  • They may think the project management processes are cumbersome and are keeping them from completing their deliverables.
  • They may feel they will be punished for bringing bad news or doing things incorrectly.
  • They may not feel the project management processes are effective.
  • They may have a normal human tendency against processes that feel like controls.
  • Team members may have tried to follow the processes, but found they were not complete or they were not supported by other people on the project.
  • They may feel that the project manager is not following the prescribed procedures.
  • They may see people going around the processes without consequences.

Knowing and recognizing these normal human tendencies will help you design a set of project management processes that are appropriate to the project being managed. The project manager also needs to communicate the processes effectively, including their overall value to the project.

Project KickStart is user-friendly and accessible to everyone in the project. With tools that help you update your project quickly and accurately, it truly is a great choice for staying on top of any kind of project. Take the free trial now.



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TenStep, Inc, specializes in methodology development, training and consulting in project management, Project Management Office, Portfolio Management, and the project lifecycle.


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