Do we need preparation time for a project?

Dia1How successful will you be as a project manager or organization if you immediately start with the execution of your project? Why do you want to spend so much time in starting up, in initiating your project? Your project executive, your sponsor would be happy if you say, that you will directly start with the delivery in stead of creating documents, plans etcetera or not? I hope your executive knows that in the preparation you will build the foundations for success. And this has nothing to do with an agile or waterfall approach. When your scope of what is to be done isn’t clear, when you have no plan how and when products will be delivered and at what costs, when risks are not identified or when you have not thought about the proper risk responses, there is one thing you will know for sure. Your approach is a guarantee for failure.

How many projects are in progress without a business justification, without clear roles and responsibilities defined, without processes to manage risks, issues and changes or to monitor and control progress?

If you can manage a project without setting your project objectives, your project controls, in terms of Cost (€), Time, Scope, Quality, Risk and Benefits, you will be a genius. I wish I could watch a discussion between you and your project executive if he wants you to have the project ready two months earlier. How are you going to convince him, without knowing your project objectives? Good luck I would say. For me it’s not a question, proper thinking or proper preparation will be key to be successful.

Photo is from Andrzej Buryan (

One response to “Do we need preparation time for a project?

  1. Hi Henny,
    my Name is Markus and i am working in a german it service provider company.
    First of all i wanna thank you for this posting; your words comming just out of my heart.
    I work as a project manager and a pmo responsibel and actually i am the assistent of a programm manager on a 20 Million Dollar IT Outsourcing project.
    My company works on about 10 to 20 more or less big projects a year and some more smaller to midsize projects also.
    And allthough it is a kind of common sense, that projects need some time for preparation/initiation (the bigger the longer) it seems that our senior management didn#t get a clue of it.
    Allthough there are some golden rules like “first scope, than time …than budget” or ” one our planning saves you two our of unnecessary work” which they should know …their first questions right after kicking off a new project allways are, when will it be finished and/or what will it cost?!?!?
    Sometomes i fell like fighting windmills … 🙂

    PS: Please excuse my somekind bad language, but i am not a native speaker …

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