Wednesday, February 23, 2011

I love my team!

I've been managing a project for one of my clients for the last six months. We are validating the upgrade of one of their computer systems. We started early, planned the activities well and have been executing against this plan since. Like any project, there were changes in scope and delays caused by low project priorities. But right now, at the home stretch, we are cooking!

We've resolved the scope and budget issues, the protocols are almost all approved, the client is executing the Performance Qualification Protocol and we are ready to put the latest data into the summary report and give the green light to go-live.

What were some of the elements of this success?
  1. First of all, I wasn't alone trying to manage the project. I had the assistance of an excellent client-side project manager, Michael, who kept things moving on his end. Whenever I needed to escalate something on his side, I could rely on him.
  2. I had a great internal team who knew their jobs inside out, and were able to handle any technical issues the client had with the system.
  3. The team was super-responsive to reviewing and approving documents when the timeline became tight. My typical response time with clients is one to two weeks to review a document. When this project was a low priority at the client, reviews sometimes stretched beyond that. But now that we are struggling to meet this March date, they are turning documents around in a matter of hours, not weeks.
  4. My people worked long hours over the weekend to execute a protocol that started three days late so that it finished on time after all.
Look at this Gantt chart to see what has been happening lately:

You'll notice right away that the current dates are months behind the baseline dates. But look more closely to see how we are catching up.
  1. Task 56, the OQ execution, originally scheduled to take three weeks over the end of the year, was finished over a weekend by adding people and working hard.
  2. Addressing Deviations took one day instead of four.
  3. Reviews of the PQ protocol were taking one day instead of a week.
  4. PQ execution is halfway done and we expect to do it in two days instead of two weeks.
As of today we are scheduled to finish up the project just in time to make the go-live the first weekend in March.

Congratulations to my wonderful team for all the hard work!

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