Lightweight vs. heavyweight project management

  • Admin
  • 23 Aug, 2017

In my Master’s Certificate program in Project Management, the professors included seasoned Project Managers who had built Just-In-Time Manufacturing Plants, Pharmaceutical Production Lines and Nuclear Power Plants. These types of projects require incredibly thorough planning, risk identification and mitigation, and adherence to incredibly specific specifications and schedules.

Working on a 30-country initiative myself for a major Pharmaceutical Services company, I created and executed on project plans of great complexity.

However, not every project needs to be so detailed, and in many cases --such as in nimble startup companies-- such plans could be obsolete before they’re even finished. At a startup company I worked with, leadership would actually look at you skeptically if you brought a 30-page document to them for review, immediately thinking that you don’t “get” what it means to work in a startup environment when that time could have been spent executing.

To determine the right balance of project management and planning, a number of factors need to be taken into account, including culture, time, money and risks, as well as the personalities of the individuals involved. Then it’s incumbent upon the project manager to have the strength of character to argue, cajole, persuade and adjust to do what’s required to make the project results meet the needs of the client, and even make the client realize that what they need may not be what they’re asking for.

Every company exists to serve its clients: no company can survive if they don’t. But at Tantamount Group, we make sure how we serve our clients is part of our solution, to ensure superior results that move your business forward.