So, you’re planning a project that has major consequences for your organization. It’s part of a larger initiative, so there are dependencies on its completion, and everyone is competing for budget and resources.
Perhaps one of the product vendors provided a “high-level” project plan on Excel. It has 1,800 rows. You’ve spent some time integrating it into the overall project plan, but it is still only telling you part of what you need to know.
You have some good contacts in the organization, so you have a sense of who some of the most qualified people are, but you’ll be competing with other projects for their time and expertise.
In the meantime, everyone is helpful, but they are all waiting on you:
- Your boss: “I can get you the budget, just tell me what you need.”
- Your IT Peer: “We can bring on additional help, but we need to first make sure we’re leveraging the resources we have.”
- HR: “Just give us detailed job descriptions, including skills, experience, etc., and we’ll get right on it.”
- Procurement: “We will get you consulting resources, just get us the roles and experience you need, and keep it within the rate cards.”
(BTW, your spouse just texted you the great news that everyone can make it over to your house for the cookout this weekend, so you’ll need to do some shopping—what’s your ETA for tonight? —and your friends want to know what they can bring).
There has to be a better way, right?
There is. (There should be a small trumpet now, but we’ll settle for the wheeze of the K-cup coffee maker).
Imagine a visual map of exactly what the project needs—the kind of map where you could zoom in and zoom out, like Google Earth, to easily communicate what you need at a high level, and zoom in on the details to answer the specific questions.
What if you could create a similar map of current resources, their experience, skills and industry knowledge?
If you had that, you could compare what you have to what you need, and target the gaps in experience and knowledge with your precious budget so you don’t over spend or under-resource.
We call it Topography—a visual map that gives you more than north, south, east & west--it shows you the terrain, the virtual mountains (challenges) and valleys (pitfalls) of the project and how to assemble the kind of team that can tackle them.
Check back soon, when we show you how we can visually explore a project’s needs and a project team’s shortcomings. With topography, project managers can rest assured that their teams have the knowledge and skills to get the project done right — the first time.
Related Content: Heat-mapping Skill Sets for High Performance Teams