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ARQ - How much time should I spend managing this project?

Posted Oct 30 2009 11:01pm

I was lucky enough to get several good questions on the art of accidental project management over in Newport, RI this week. The first of which is above. How much time should I anticipate to spend managing this project?

In this case the project was an upgrade. The individual was wearing several hats, that of a systems analyst, a system administrator, a DBA, and project manager. The team sounded to be composed of me, myself, and I.

Here is the key tip to the trade, do the amount of project management that is necessary which address the areas in the project which need to be managed.

Within full blown execution after the charter, scope, and schedule have been developed, for this type of project the weekly pm workload should not be significant.


  • Bi-Weekly Status meeting on the project, with meeting minutes

  • A 10 minute weekly review of the schedule

  • About 5 - 10 minutes deriving a quick weekly status email

  • About an hour of follow-up calls

  • About an hour review and following up on the RAID log.

  • A 15 minute weekly discussions with the sponsor

Assumptions here is that the other roles are taking time, but the communication needs are smaller because the impacted individuals are smaller. Additionally, since the pm is the individual also doing the project work, there is a self managing aspect to the activities.

Project Management efforts have been calculated from 10% to 25% of the total project work, depending on the type of effort. So if you are doing a small upgrade, you should anticipate spending a small amount of time managing the project.

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