The Project Manager as Superhero: Part 5

Read  how Project Man-ager uses his skills to defeat Scope Creep and The Bug and succeed in Project….

The Bug’s latest has thrown them. But Project Man-ager was an old warrior and he been through a lot over the years in Project, and had learned a lot of tricks. He had been managing scope and expectations with stakeholders, project financials and most of all contingency planning for a long, long time.

Contingency planning was is key in Project. As he stared off into the distance and remembered this, calm came over him.  Through paying close attention to Communication, he had learned something that he filed away and he thought it might help here but he needed to tease it fully into memory.

He took a good hard look at his plan in front of him. He had milked every drop from it and now he had to milk much more. How? Where was he to get the resources? Time and the money. Time and money. He needed to do twice the work now but had no time and no money.

The Bug sat in the corner watching Project Man-ager and was feeling pretty pleased with himself. Had he stumped Project Man-ager? Had he defeated him once and for all?

Wait… what was that look. That wasn’t the look of defeat. Bug’s smile vanished.

It came to him. He had the beginning of an idea. He picked up the phone and called Project Woman-ager. Luckily she had some time today to brainstorm with him.  After he finished talking, she had to agree, it just might work.

from Lumaxart

Project Man-ager smiled. He called his team back in. He had a great team and he was sure that together they would pull this off.

He started to explain his plan. The Bug isn’t really smart, he just breaks things, he can’t think in terms of complexity, just size. Dev, is what he broke complicated or just a big massive smash up?

It is massive but complicated, not really, why? It will take forever though to find the original start of his break and follow it all the way. It’s a time issue really. 

This happened due to the late changes we made for Mr. Needes to shorten his work flow, right? What if we undo that functionality and shorten his workflow in other ways? 

Harry doesn’t know that what we built based on his changes doesn’t work—he just cares about cutting out steps in his daily work. So we give him a fix that cuts out steps, just not the ones he thought. We will actually be doing more to shorten his process than he had asked for but he should be happier with that.

Still time wise it would be very long process, Dev said.

What if we could leverage work we have already done before?  It will be just fine tuning/reconfiguring existing code to fix this, Project Man-ager explained. Will that and some changes to the existing workaround we created fix this?

Dev and BA stared at him and then at each other. Maybe this would work. The team sat together and reviewed Project Man-ager’s idea from all angles to see if fact it would work and they thought it would. They worked around the clock and got it done.

In the end, they did not meet their deadline but their solution kept them as close to the timeline and budget as possible. Mr. Needes got his shortened workflow. Scope Creep and The Bug did not derail everything, just caused trouble as usual. Queen Spon-soor and Bud Geted were assured that all that could be done had been done by Project Man-ager and his team.  

Once again Project Man-ager and his team had survived Scope Creep and The Bug by utilizing their skills and creative thinking.


Of course Technology solutions or any kind of Project  solutions are not always this easily done but I told this “tale” to show that no matter how the story goes, in any Project, there are 10 things you should always keep in mind:

  1. Users will always want more, or something else.
  2. Scope Creep must be stopped at all cost, yes, but he is part of the Scope family. He will show up from time to time. 
  3. Signed Scope has the right idea – we have to learn to adjust and very quickly. Things come up in Project all the time, it is the truly gifted Project Man-ager and his team that can deal with the unforeseen and unexpected as they arise and still keep on time and budget or as close as possible.
  4. There is no protection from The Bug – he will always be there and we must keep fighting that good fight each and every time.
  5. Keep Communication close at all times. It’s the best protection in Project.
  6. Know that you cannot please everyone, even once.
  7. Sometimes you have to backtrack to keep on track
  8. Recycle what you can, when you can
  9. Plan A is great but Plan B will save you.
  10. Project Management is a challenging field and those in it, Project Man-ager and Project Woman-ager are super at what they do, each and every day.

The End


1 thought on “The Project Manager as Superhero: Part 5”

  1. User Avatar

    Thanks for an interesting spin on super heroes, Yvonne! One point I particularly want to note is that changes late in the development cycle, however innocuous they seem, pose a disproportional risk to project success. And the most “minor” tend to create more problems exactly because they’re considered of little consequence, and people can’t imagine what could go wrong. Even in this “Agile Age”, a firm date for “Feature Free” and “Code Free” preceding a critical release can reduce nasty surprises delivered from Mr. Scope Creep and The Bug.

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