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EA and project management January 16, 2009

Posted by Chris Eaton in methodology, methods.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

i love architecting stuff, my raison d’etre perhaps. Project managers though, they are my antithesis – they are full of difficult questions inhibiting my creative juices, how long will it take? whats the deliverable? what other resources are needed? any risks? what will it cost? ARG!!!! just let me draw my diagrams 🙂

but lets not forget project management altogether, actually applying project management discipline is really important to defining what you want to achieve, what resources are needed to achieve that goal and the plan and execute to make it all happen.

One brilliant tool i will take away from my IBM days is the Project Definition Workshop and the associate deliverable of a Project Definition Report (or project charter) – this sets out right at the start exactly what you are trying to achieve and what it will need to do it, crucially this is held in a workshop format with an independent facilitator with the key stakeholders – this can be a tricky matter to arrange! . The Structure is usually something like this:

  • Goal – one paragraph on the goal of the project i.e. what it is trying to achieve
  • Objectives – things that the project needs to achieve
  • Sponsor and key stakeholders – who are we doing this project for and who needs to be involved
  • Deliverables – what things the project will deliver
  • Tasks – brainstorm all the task needed to achieve the goal
  • Management System / Communications plan
  • Risks/Issues/Assumptions/Dependencies

others agenda items can be added as needed

I have always found this hugely productive and never heard a bad word about the day. It gets everyone on the same page and geared for action



1. PM Hut - January 17, 2009

I read the first part of your article about Project Managers being lame, but the thing is, the Project Manager is always under the pressure from management/upper management to meet deadlines and costs.

What do you think is the ideal way for Project Managers to ask for such information, without being intrusive/annoying?

2. chriseaton - January 18, 2009

hello, oh i didnt say pms are lame, indeed this post is about the important of project management – as for engaging with EAers i would suggest that the exercise is made to be creative which is much more enjoyable than slogging through ms project gantt charts – in fact now i think about it that is why I like project definition workshops, they are creative and collaborative

3. Ian Louw - January 20, 2009

The type of information you have specified for the the Project Charter is similar to that found in the Prince II project delivery method which is widely used in the UK private and public sector.

It is fundamental to get these identified and agreed and admittedly it can be a pain but archtects are not a law unto themselves as much as they would like to be.

A fellow EA practioner

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