Monday, December 9, 2013

Dear PM Advisor. Dec 9, 2013

Dear PM Advisor,

When I schedule activities in my Gantt chart, my boss likes to see all the deliverables as milestones. I'm used to showing them as summary tasks above all the activities. What do you recommend?

Stony in Morristown, NJ

Dear Stony,

Who writes your review at the end of the year? Who is responsible for any bonuses, promotions and career growth? Give that person what they want.

People have varying levels of comfort with MS-Project. Some like to see how long each deliverable takes, seeing it from the beginning of the first activity to the end of the last one. When you roll up a Gannt chart with the default settings, you will see this.

Others look at this and just see a bunch of bars and get confused. They just want pinpoints showing when each deliverable is completed. A nice diamond at the end of each deliverable works for them. When you roll up this type of Gantt chart, you can see all the diamonds.

Still another group wants to see both.

A fourth group, I count myself in this group, want to see the full summary task type deliverable bar with milestones indicated where they are important: Design Review Complete, Go-Live, things like that.

The bottom line is this: 90% of a Project Manager's job is communication. So communicate the way your stakeholders want to be communicated to. Especially if that stakeholder is your boss.

Good luck,

PM Advisor

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