Tailoring Prince2 to Birthdays

Now, not a lot of people know that MBW has a birthday coming up soon.  Last year was her 21st (which makes this her… 22nd) and I took her on a date and out for a birthday dinner.  However… that was last year.  Which means this year has to be… different.  I smell a project coming on.

So, planning is in the making but as she’s reading this no doubt, lets cover some basics…

Mandate:
To give MBW a wonderful day involving fun activities.

Bit of a problem – the Project Executive and Project Manager is… me.  Whoops.  But PRINCE2 can be tailored, right?  Well – probably not to this extremes but I’ll give it a go.

The brief is:
Produce a fantastic day that she won’t forget

Senior User:
MBW

Senior Supplier:
My bank account

Suppliers:
Like I’m going to tell you

Right now, I’m past the Start Up, I have done Project Initiation and now I am planning out the day… and the next stage is to organise.  What MBW doesn’t realise is… I have some interesting things coming up… ohhhh yes.  Very much so.

I just have to stop her opening up the post, now…

Tailoring to the Project Principles

I passed my PRINCE2 foundation exam today… which kicked ass, to be honest.  I won’t lie when I say it was a lot to take in.  It’s hard work and a lot of theory.  However, I got 50/70 so I can’t be that bad.  I now have the Practitioner exam Friday.

But my highlight of my day?  My girls came over to see me tonight where I am staying… I had fun playing with Monkey, Nuzzle and Scratch – Monkey was especially boisterous.  Scratch is crawling like no ones business and Nuzzle scoffing away on food… it was fantastic.

I think its hard to remember how much of your life they are until you have two days away… Monkey might only see me for 30 minutes to an hour a day when I get in during the week, but we get a cuddle and a play… but this week we’ve not had that.  So, she was in a grump with me for the first 10 minutes.  But after that we had fun, rolling her new money-box ball around with some pennies in, involving Nuzzle too, who was laughing at us.  Scratch crawled all over the place…

And MBW – I felt happy to see her.  I got a hug I needed and just that moment together to chill out… it just reminded me of how important she is to me.  It was a great end to a good day.

Happy bunny is me tonight.

Principles of Project Management: Chapter 1

Part of the Principles of Project Management is understanding how Projects fit into line with the programme, and how following simple principles and processes can actually implement into your every day life… even if it does make you appear a complete sad act.

Every project has someone who is ultimately responsible.  The Executive.  The person who is going to take the flack if something goes wrong, and that something is the project failing.  They are joined on the board by two others – Senior User and Senior Supplier.  But how is this defined, how do you decided who they are?

Users are those that are the end user.  They will decide what they want.  You don’t have all of them on the board – they’re represented.  They tell the representative what they want through focus and stakeholder groups.  The person who represents them all: – the Senior User. They are internal to the company.  The things they want – it has to be descriptive but to a point – too deep a de

Suppliers don’t have to be internal or external.  They are essentially going to be supplying the solution.  If it’s an IT project, it can be your IT department, it can be a contractor.  I’ll draw up a scenario in a moment.

And then you have the project manager.  The project manager should not be from the supplier.  Why? Because they have  a conflict of interests.  The project manager must ensure Quality as an outcome within the costs.

So, quick example:

We need to go to shopping.  MBW has made an executive decision.  I have users – the family – who want food in the house.  They have drawn up a list of requirements – the shopping list.  I have a provider (Saincosons).  I have been assigned the role of project manager.

Now, why is it important that Saincosons are not the project manager?  Because they will go around and pick the most expensive products.  I’m not saying that it’s true to real life and is no way a slur on Saincosons – this is just the fact of most suppliers – its maximum profit.  Heck – I’d do the same.  But – I have a list.  Now, my end users stipulated they want Heinz beans.  What if the cost of a can is £1, but Saincosons own brand is 50p.  Now, typically, if it’s my budget, then it’s my decision as to which can I buy.  But – in a project the users have said they want high quality beans, the executive has agreed the budget… as a project manager, you don’t have an authority to change the requirements.

And then when I get home, the outcome is checked – did I get everything I was asked for.  This is called Quality Assurance.  Does it meet the requirements?  Does it meet the budget?

If yes – successful outcome.  If not – what lessons do I learn?

This is the basics of project management.  Tomorrow I might discuss the Principles, the Processes and the Themes.  Job done.

A week termination white paper

I’ve started typing this whilst I’m actually doing some reading around a course I am on next week – so there might be a some terminology slipped in.  Be vigilant – there could even be a test later.  I am going to be attending the PRINCE2 course.  The planned outcome is that I will be a certified PRINCE2 practitioner, which will be helpful.

This week has been difficult with the the girls all failing to reach Performance Targets – i.e. to sleep through the night.  Teething is to blame, a risk flagged up at the beginning and despite best planning, the risk is always doubled with Nuzzle and Scratch.    But we are hopefully beginning to plateau with Scratch at least…

I also acquired a bonus into my day – a  CD of various tunes mixed by Timo Maas.

Now for the quiz:

Which words above are offical terms in the Prince2 course… comments please!