You set off on a day of hiking. The path is 22 km long and it will be dark in 8 hours. So if you keep a pace of 3 km/h, you will return to your car before night falls. You can easily check your position after an hour of walking with your GPS tracker to see that you have walked briskly enough or otherwise adjust your pace.
A project will reach its end date if enough results are produced every week. Just as with the hike, you can calculate how many sub-results or deliverables the team will have to complete each week to be on time. A project with 50 sub-results and a time plan stretching over 25 week, will have to complete 50/25= 2 sub-results per week. Needed rate is 2. So if the team has completed 2 sub-results this week, you are on track. You thus need a project tracker to keep you updated!
The Parmatur Pulse app is a project tracker
The Parmatur Pulse app will be your GPS tracker that enables you to check your position every week. The app does the calculation for you and also adjusts the number of necessary sub-results per week based on your previous progress, i.e. the total number of completed sub-results up to this week. The only thing you have to do is to download the app, add your project and then register data each week. When you add a project, you enter project name, project length in number of weeks, the total number of sub-results and the total number of work hours. That’s all! Data is stored locally in your mobile phone.
However, if the project contains few but large sub-results, the precision will be poor. Lets say that the project instead had 6 sub-results in 25 weeks, then you have to complete one sub-result each month. So for a single week, there is no guide. It’s like walking with a GPS tracker that just gives you an updated position every two hours. Ideally, the project plan should contain at least as many sub-results as weeks, which means that at least one sub-result must be completed each week. There is also a difference between sub-results to be delivered and activities to be done. The former can be checked and approved, thus providing evidence that the project is actually doing progress. To help you get a suitable project plan, the Parmatur Pulse app also contains method descriptions. If you follow the descriptions, you can develop the plans you need to track your projects.
Each week, you register number of approved sub-results (green magnets on the synchronization plan), number of ongoing sub-results (yellow magnets on the synchronization plan), and number of activities in “Done” in the app.
Here too, the Parmatur Pulse app contains method descriptions on how to conduct daily stand-up meetings in the project, so called project pulse meetings, and how to organize a project pulse board to facilitate collaboration during the meetings.
Is your project on track?
You will receive a forecast for the project’s duration in weeks, current rate calculated as the average number of completed sub-results last five weeks, how many sub-results you need to complete each week to reach the deadline, and progress as percentage of completed sub-results.
You can also see your projects fitness in a graph. This allows you to get a good understanding of the pace at which your project produces sub- results. Based on this, you can take early actions.
If for some reason the project does not reach the needed rate of completed sub-results this week, the team will need to do more in the coming weeks. As a project manager, you may immediately think “I need more resources”. But then you should think again. There are a lot of things that can be done to increase the efficiency of the existing team.
First consider – if you have not already done so – re-planning the project together in the project team. Planning is not just a way to calculate a budget and prepare for follow-up. More importantly, planning will facilitate self-organization of the project team. And that effect has a very big impact on the ability to make fast progress. I recommend that you spend half a day together revising your overall plans and then updating your detailed plans based on the method descriptions in the Parmatur Pulse app. It will be well invested time.
The next thing you can do is to focus the team. At Friday’s project pulse meeting, discuss which sub- results are to be delivered next week. The whole team can then contribute to that work as the sub-results are divided into many smaller tasks in an activity plan. The detailed planning can be done on Monday morning as a team effort.
You can also increase the number of pulse meetings. When you do that, the activities will be smaller and the efficiency higher. So instead of five project-pulse meetings next week, maybe you need 10 to catch up.
And finally, maybe you can co-locate the project team and thus increase collaboration? This will prevent disturbances from external sources, thus increasing the available working hours.
Did your project make enough progress this week?
The Parmatur Pulse app will be your GPS tracker that enables you to check the fitness of your projects every week. Not only will it give you substantiated answers when a manager asks when the project will be ready. You will also be able to take early actions to ensure that your projects are delivered on time.
When you need to ask for more resources, it is generally already too late.