Informal Project Management

Formal project management can be automated because it makes use of such approaches as critical path analysis. Informal project management is concerned more with intuitive judgment and relationships among personnel. Informal project management tries to answer such questions as:

■ How reliable are an employee's estimates?

■ A group of programmers is on the critical path this week; how can they be motivated to finish faster?

■ Who needs formal training in which areas, and who needs coaching?

■ What is the state of the team morale? Should anything be done to improve it?

Some of these judgments can be decided with quantitative information. If the history of an employee's estimates can be accessed as well as the actual time the employee took for each assignment, this information can be used to correct estimates.

In this way, formal project management skills can support and improve informal project management, although they are no substitute for intuition and judgment. People who are proficient at formal project management may not have outstanding interpersonal skills. Similarly, good informal project managers may be impatient with the effort involved in creating plans and revising them as a project unfolds. Formal project management can be learned, and it appears that informal project management cannot — either someone simply is or is not good at it.

Organizations are thus under pressure to find talented informal project managers and to support them with aids for formal project management. Some organizations provide staff to help project managers with project planning and control; automated tools are being used increasingly, but they will be commonplace only if they are easy to use and provide obvious value to the project manager.

Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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