Project Management and the Illusion of Agreement

This weekend I’ve been revisiting Project Management philosophies. I had someone ask me recently whether or not I subscribe to RUP and used UML. I had forgotten what RUP stood for and while I’ve been exposed to UML, we haven’t used it much.

In fact, I was discussing with our program manager yesterday about the difference between project management focused on internal projects and those on customer projects. In the case of internal projects, you are primarily managing cost and resources towards a specific deadline.

Managing customer projects is about managing customers first. Without agreement with the customer and in particular, participation from the customer to deliver on their portions of the project, the other portions of the project won’t happen. More often than not, if a project is delayed, the delay comes from the customer side, not the developer side.

All of this reminded me of two images that sum up the challenges of project management on customer projects:

How do you manage projects? Selecting the right process for the project and organization is very important. Managing and communicating with customers is the key.