There are many project methodologies to follow. In this article we explore the Tiger-Taming method. This is a simple step by step approach to planning your project. It can be applied to any project. We developed it as a tool which is easy to understand and simple to apply.
Project Methodologies - Step 1 Purpose
The first step is to establish the purpose of the project. What is the objective? What do you need the project to do? Why is there a project at all? It is very important to get agreement on the objective. This will save a lot of potential difficulties later on. If people don’t agree on the objective they may have differing expectations of what the project is about. In our methodology we also ask questions like; ‘What does success look like?’ So it’s not just about the objective. It is also about describing the desired outcomes.
Project Methodologies - Step 2 People
Projects get nowhere without the involvement and commitment of people. This may be a formal project team. Or a less formal arrangement. Each person in a project has a role to play. This methodology goes through all the roles. These include project sponsor, project manager to specific task managers. It is important to assess each person’s commitment and enthusiasm for a project. This assessment will help in removing road blocks ahead.
Project Methodologies - Step 3 Pricing
This part of the methodology is about budgeting. What is the overall budget for the project? How is this broken down. How is the budget calculated? Are there any pressures on the budget?
Not all projects have a budget element. But sometimes those which at first don’t, on closer analysis actually do. This is sometimes because a senior manger has delegated a project, but has not delegated the cost part. Your time has a cost, so we could say every project has a budget.
Project Methodologies - Step 4 Processes
Processes are about the structure of the project. We break these down into Milestones and Tasks. A milestone is a major piece of work in the project. For example, if the project was to build a new facility then materials purchasing would be a milestone. Foundation construction would be another milestones. Furnishing the interior would be another. And landscaping might be another milestone. These are major steps in the process of completing the project.
Tasks are the smaller steps within each milestone. So in our example, inviting tenders for materials supply would be a task. Selecting materials, would also be a task.
Both milestones and tasks can be delegated. But it is the project manager’s responsibility to know what is happening at every step of the project even if the task is delegated.
Project Methodologies - Step 5 Planning
The planning phase is where each milestone and each task is allocated to a person. Each one is also given a timeline and a deadline. A time within which the task has to be done. And a deadline by which the task needs to be completed. A key part of planning is identifying inter-dependencies. These are points in the project where one task cannot be started until another task is completed. Often these tasks are the responsibility of different people. This means one person is waiting for another person before they can begin their task. The project manager must manage these dependencies very carefully as they can be the source of time delays and frustration.