Are we all on the same page?


On project management courses I use the 5 principles of project management so ably developed by Glen Alleman*. He has written extensively about them and for those who have not seen his writing he suggests that there are some principles, processes and practices to increase the probability of project management success. These are:

Increasing the probability of success – the 5 key principles

I speak about these principles on project management courses explaining the ideas behind them. Recently, I have not got to number 2 before someone says something like:

  • there is not a common understanding of what done looks like


  • we have been given an overview of what it should be however the actual goal, the vision is not at all clear

Now these are two of several comments over the last few months.

Why are projects going ahead without a clearly signed off business case and some form of project initiation document (PID) or charter? As one person said on a course, it’s a recipe for disaster.

Oh, for those of you who are asking what did I say to those people who raised the issues, I suggested:

  • going back and holding a (start up) meeting (or series of meetings) where the sponsor, key stakeholders and team members really thrash out what done looks like
  • developing documentation to advance this area including a business case and PID/charter ensuring there is both buy in and sign off by the project sponsor

These are two of many possible solutions.

I am not suggesting this is an easy area to resolve. It is however easier to deal with at the front end of the project rather than the back end; when you deliver and what you deliver is ‘not what was wanted.’

So, let me ask you, are you all on the same page in your projects? What’s your experience in this area?


Picture courtesy of Glen Alleman who has a blog site – Herding cats 

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