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Assumptions and Constraints

Diners, Drive-Ins and DivesI turned to my wife last week and asked what our plans were for the weekend. She countered by asking me if there was anything specific I wanted to do.  My answer was I wanted to eat somewhere featured on Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives.  One quick search and a YouTube video later, and we had our Sunday planned. We were headed to Baltimore for lunch at Di Pasquales Marketplace. I could taste it all now. Mmmmm, homemade paste, sausage, and mozzarella.  After lunch, we’d head to the Inner Harbor and enjoy the beautiful weather.

This is where my personal story ends and my project management story begins.  As I’ve said before, everything in life points back to project management.

Imagine our weekend adventure was a project.  We planned our little outing for Sunday.  We assumed Di Pasquales was open on Sunday.  We were wrong.  We discovered if we wanted to go to Di Pasquales, our time constraint was Monday thru Friday: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. or Saturday: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.  Fortunately, we had a plan B.  Always have a plan B! I added our trip to the backlog and we picked the next highest priority from the list.

Here’s my little read world project management advice for today.

  1. Don’t start a project, until you know your assumptions and constraints.
  2. Get buyin from stakeholders to ensure you are all in agreement on priorities.
  3. When making a proposal, always have a plan B.

Since we were not able to go, perhaps we’ll go next weekend.  Regardless, if we had not identified our assumptions and constraints, we could have found ourselves eating somewhere less desirable and “wasting” the day.

About Derek Huether

I'm Vice President of ALM Platforms at LeadingAgile. Author of Zombie Project Management (available on Amazon). Novice angel investor.

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