From One Project Manager to Another: Lessons Learned

By Kaylan Adams

I’ll kick things off for this new column with a few reflections on one of my own recent projects.

My team and I were developing a website for an organization that would allow them to manage contacts, interact with teammates, and keep track of goals. We were about a week into the Discovery period when we realized that the project’s desired scope had expanded from what was stated in the RFP and was turning into a much more complex feature wish-list. And though the client knew that we were billing on a time and materials basis, they had a VERY tight timeline and a firm max budget. And they still expected to be able to get most, if not all, of the features they wanted. We knew quickly that would not be possible based on our estimates and told them as much. But they persisted. So, we told them we could continue to keep track of the features they wanted and that as we completed the MVP requirements we would re-evaluate other features’ possible inclusion based on their prioritization of the full feature set and the progress we had made. Maybe we would have time to add in one or two more of the desired features.

That was our mistake. We knew there wouldn’t be time or money to do that. And even though it would have disappointed them, we should not have allowed the hope to build. We were the experts. We knew how much the original requirements were going to take, and we should have used the opportunity as a way to build trust and credibility with the client by saying no and showing that we fully understood their constraints.

Got a lesson to share? One of the many benefits of being part of a professional network like PMI Portland is the opportunity to learn from your peers. And in the project management business, learning lessons from past projects and applying them to future projects is a critical aspect of a successful career.

So, let’s hear them. It can be as short or as long as you like, and we can keep it anonymous if you prefer.

Send to Kaylan Adams, at content_mkt@pmi-portland.org


One of the many benefits of being part of a professional network like PMI Portland is the opportunity to learn from your peers. And in the project management business, learning lessons from past projects and applying them to future projects is a critical aspect of a successful career.

So, let’s hear them. I’d love to introduce a new monthly segment to the Newsletter that spotlights a lesson learned from a project you worked on in the past, or that you are currently working on. It can be as short or as long as you like, and we can keep it anonymous if you prefer.

Please reach out and let me know if you’re interested… and don’t be surprised if I reach out directly as well!

Thanks!

Kaylan Adams

(503) 309-6824

content_mkt@pmi-portland.org 

Sponsors

We wish to thank each of the Chapter sponsors for their continued support of the organization and their recognition of the importance of project management in the Portland area. To learn how your organization can become a Chapter sponsor, please visit Become a Sponsor

Sponsors for Web Gold UP

Sponsors for Web PSUSponsors for Web VH2