Forum Sponsor:

Portfolio Planner is software which improves portfolio, project and resource management.

Tips on using this forum..

(1) Explain your problem, don't simply post "This isn't working". What were you doing when you faced the problem? What have you tried to resolve - did you look for a solution using "Search" ? Has it happened just once or several times?

(2) It's also good to get feedback when a solution is found, return to the original post to explain how it was resolved so that more people can also use the results.

WHAT ARE THE BARRIERS TO EFFECTIVE PLANNING

39 replies [Last post]
Charleston-Joseph...
User offline. Last seen 8 years 25 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 10 Jul 2005
Posts: 1347
Groups: None
Ignorance of the basic in planning

Insufficient experience in computer tools

Not comprehending the Scope of Work "SOW"

Cheers,

Sensei
Successful Project Management Consultant

Replies

Robert Foedisch
User offline. Last seen 8 years 44 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 7 Nov 2004
Posts: 34
Groups: None
Joseph,
I find it intersting that you view planning as a form of negotiation.
Chris Oggham
User offline. Last seen 5 years 14 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 20 May 2004
Posts: 605
Groups: None
Hi Clive,

The Artists Rifles, not many people know about them and what they eventually became. I’m sure Charlie will find the research both interesting and instructive. Strangely enough a friend of mine told me a US Forces acronym which may relate to possible eyeballing, it’s DNFWTG, standing, I’m told, for Do Not F>ck With These Guys.

Your point on multiple posts is well made, besides making the person doing the posting seem, at best, a touch strange, it can discourage people from posting when they may have something valid and useful to contribute.

Chris Oggham
Clive Randall
User offline. Last seen 12 years 15 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 15 Aug 2005
Posts: 744
Groups: None
Charlie

When you are next in Wiki look up the artists and rifles regiment

Now for me I would not even look at these guys let alone eyeball them

A glaswegian kiss may be your suprise response

By the way I have noticed that it is possible to provide a lengthy mail rather than a lot of little short ones one after the other.

The method of short mails inclines readers to believe the poster is conversing with themselves, thats almost as mad as eyeballing somebody.

In my rather extended period in Asia I have found that effective communications are best achieved when parties do not get into a pissing competition but seek harmony. There is little point winning a battle if you sacrifice your ability to win the war. A brief sourjourn into Dale Carnegie would help in this matter I feel.
Ben Hall
User offline. Last seen 11 years 35 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 20 Nov 2007
Posts: 18
I am also a project manager of 2 subsea oil & gas projects as well as being a Planner, and I think the schedule is the most important tool a project can have!

I use Baselines, Actual start & finish, and resources on my schedules. Though I have not really added costs and budgets to my schedules...I havent really found a way to display that infomation so it is useful to my project team and myself. It seems if i put the budget and costs into my schedule then thats where they will stay and will serve no purpose in the schedule...

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to use costs and budgets planning so I can show the infomation effectivly?

Note: I use Primavera 5.0 :)
Charleston-Joseph...
User offline. Last seen 8 years 25 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 10 Jul 2005
Posts: 1347
Groups: None
Ben,

I agree with you with regards to SAS planning.

WOW guys and gals, they, the SAS, one of of the best and the finest in the world.

In addition, SAS motto is "WHO DARES WIN"

This is bravery a hallmark of Leadership.

In my interaction with people, I also used this to sent my message across,

eyeball to eyeball, the one who backs out losses everything.

Cheers,




Robert Foedisch
User offline. Last seen 8 years 44 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 7 Nov 2004
Posts: 34
Groups: None
Ben,
I totally agree and stand by your quote as well
Carmen Arape
User offline. Last seen 2 years 33 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 26 Jun 2004
Posts: 292
Dear Sensei,

Off-topic : Bravo y OLE

ON-TOPIC: Earned value management A MUST ??

I do not want to loose your comment done in your post #14 regarding “EARNED VALUE MANAGEMENT IS A MUST”.

I recalled a weak point when using this methodology. It was many years AGO while assessing engineering performance. Never used for construction performance.

Give some days to refresh some concepts and I would like to give you my opinion about the weak point of this methodology. Thinking in using EVM in my next Project.

Cheers,
Ben Hall
User offline. Last seen 11 years 35 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 20 Nov 2007
Posts: 18
On topic;

I am a Lead Planner (only Planner) at a Subsea oil & gas company in Perth Western Australia, and for the past 2 years I have found it incredibly difficult to work effectivly with Project Managers and to make them realise the importance of planning, initially and on-going throughout the project.

I read a book on the British SAS (Special Air Service) recently and of course planning is fundamental to their operations as you would expect, so why do we as Planners have to justify our importance in the commercial world?

The 7 P’s as the SAS call it: "Proper Planning and Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performances" and I stand by that quote!

Cheers
Benjamin Hall
Charleston-Joseph...
User offline. Last seen 8 years 25 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 10 Jul 2005
Posts: 1347
Groups: None
Bravo Carmen,

Your explanation is reasonable and practical.

Cheers,

Carmen Arape
User offline. Last seen 2 years 33 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 26 Jun 2004
Posts: 292
Off-topic

One of the most beautiful and clearly defined 4 seasons I have experienced was in Argentina. I am not very good in Geography, but all the countries below the line Tropic of Capricorn have well defined 4 seasons of 3 months duration each. In South America, countries such as Chile, Argentina, Uruguay and South of Brazil have 4 seasons.

Charlie’s Timano is equal to Scott’s chameleon. What a surprise to hear that someone from Australia used the same term as in Venezuela to describe a creature with such ability.

I consider very important the ability to adapt the planning methodology to the project team and project management. Each project is different as well as the management. Some very successful planning strategies in some projects, they are unsuccessful in others.

Charlie, you mention being aware of planning ROLE. Well my company is full of manuals describing roles for everybody. Am I aware of mine??. I read my ROLE but at the moment of planning, my personal role is the most important.

Having a Timano or Chamaleon way of implementing planning methodology is an strategy that might succeed.

Cheers,
Chris Oggham
User offline. Last seen 5 years 14 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 20 May 2004
Posts: 605
Groups: None
Hi Guys,

Off-topic; I think Charlie’s TIMANO may be the Ptarmigan sometimes called the Arctic Grouse. This bird is white in Winter but changes colour to brown in Spring or Summer. It’s a species not confined to America, but appears throughout the Europe (including the UK which incidently does have four seasons) and parts of Asia including (I think) Japan.

On topic; one barrier to effective planning, poor communication; For example using a word which isn’t a word so that nobody has any idea what you’re talking about. Discussions get sidetracked while people try to run down just what the word is, what it means and its relevance to the plan or even the discussion itself.

Chris Oggham
Anoon Iimos
User offline. Last seen 51 weeks 6 hours ago. Offline
Joined: 22 Sep 2006
Posts: 1416
here in Qatar, we also have Four Seasons, i’m not just fortunate enough to live in it
Scott Sando
User offline. Last seen 12 years 16 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 7 Oct 2007
Posts: 24
Groups: None
The off-topic bit first:

Charles,

The US isn’t the only place in the world to have four seasons. Where I live, in the southern part of Australia, we have four seasons, but we use the term "Autumn" rather than "Fall." I believe the UK have similar seasons.

"Chameleon" (a lizard) is another term used to describe a creature with the ability to blend in with its environment - Australia has small lizards and some frogs which can change their colour to blend in with their surrounds. I think some octopi have similar capabilities.

Robert,

I’m a little biassed, as I’m studying Project Management, but I see planning as a (major) part of Project Management. Planning is certainly a complex process requiring high levels of experience to do well, and is worthy of being a field in its own right. Unfortunately, planning is often done appallingly - because too many who call themselves Project Managers do not understand its importance.

The PMI’s PMBoK defines nine "knowledge areas" of Project Management. In my (relatively inexperienced) view I see the areas of Time, Cost and Quality as being the core of the Planner’s domain, with perhaps Risk Management being covered too. The other areas (Scope, Communication, Procurement, HR and Integration) I see as the Project Manager’s responsibility. Planners may have some involvement in these areas, but the Project Manager is ultimately responsible for the project as a whole.
Robert Foedisch
User offline. Last seen 8 years 44 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 7 Nov 2004
Posts: 34
Groups: None
This is an interesting situation. we cant seem to agree on exactly what is planning. I feel that it is its own field which in which I have my masters degree. And you feel like it it part of another field - project management. I imagine the truth lies somewhere in the middle
Charleston-Joseph...
User offline. Last seen 8 years 25 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 10 Jul 2005
Posts: 1347
Groups: None
Ahhh

Now I know the 4 season,

I just sang it

"WINTER, SPRING, SUMMER AND FALL" (all you have to do is ,,,, and I’ll be there, yeh yeh yeh . You Got A Friend.

So the Bird Timano change color as the 4 seasons change the landscape in US or A.

Cheers,


Charleston-Joseph...
User offline. Last seen 8 years 25 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 10 Jul 2005
Posts: 1347
Groups: None
So to continue,

What you did was similar to bourne or like a Timano, you did blend with the project team and get the work done.

I think this answer a lot of question regarding our role as planning engineers, to blend with the project team and get the work done, similar to a Timano.

The other point here is to be aware of planning engineer roles in the project team for the planning engineer to be effective.

What do you think???

Cheers,
Sensei
Successful Project Management Consultant
Charleston-Joseph...
User offline. Last seen 8 years 25 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 10 Jul 2005
Posts: 1347
Groups: None
Well anyway,

if you read the books about bourne identity then you will appreciate how bourne blend in the environment by changing who he is. This ability of bourne was mentioned all throughout the whole series of Bourne by Robert Ludlum 1st book I think is the Bourne Identity, there is a second book I forgot the title, and the third book is Bourne Supremacy. The movie series of Bourne is not clear regarding the TIMANO characteristic of Jason Bourne.

Cheers,
Charleston-Joseph...
User offline. Last seen 8 years 25 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 10 Jul 2005
Posts: 1347
Groups: None
Carmen,

I did search the net yesterday and I think I made spelling wrong because I cannot find the word also.

Aynway, this is how I learned about the TIMANO.

I used to read Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum sometimes in my colleges days. The word TIMANO was mentioned. Bourne has the ability of a TIMANO. In our house we have 20 volume encylopedia (collier not britanica), so I made a research. I did found a TIMANO.

A TIMANO is a bird. But what is unique of this bird is that it change color as the season change. So in winter, the bird color change to white to blend with the snow, in summer, the color of the bird change to brown to blend with the season, so in spring, i forgot the color, I forgot the next season in USA. I think the bird live in USA because it is the only country in the word that has four season. (please correct me if I’m wrong).

Cheers
Charleston-Joseph...
User offline. Last seen 8 years 25 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 10 Jul 2005
Posts: 1347
Groups: None
Annoon as in Anonymous,

It is not my invention. I think the spelling is not correct because I did search the net using google and I can not find the word.

Someone must have known what I mean.

Cheers
Charleston-Joseph...
User offline. Last seen 8 years 25 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 10 Jul 2005
Posts: 1347
Groups: None
Robert,

I started the thread about Barriers to Effective Planning. This is very common in PP that the thread will divert from the main thread.

Project Management is a broad subject and I agree that planning is a component of project management.

What I’m trying to discover is to know the barriers to effective planning and how to circumvent, manipulate, politize, or simply pro-active invovlement to attain effective planning.

Cheers,
Robert Foedisch
User offline. Last seen 8 years 44 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 7 Nov 2004
Posts: 34
Groups: None
as I mentioned before we are discussung Project Management, Which is a compenent of Planning.
Brad Lord
User offline. Last seen 5 years 43 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 27 May 2003
Posts: 256
Groups: None
what like wibble or pertang or grooky!!!
Anoon Iimos
User offline. Last seen 51 weeks 6 hours ago. Offline
Joined: 22 Sep 2006
Posts: 1416
it’s a word invented by Charlie, which he alone knows...
Carmen Arape
User offline. Last seen 2 years 33 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 26 Jun 2004
Posts: 292
Sensei,

help ME a bit with TIMANO.

searching in the NET I have found nonsenses about Timano.

tell me at least one characteristic of Timano

Cheers,

Charleston-Joseph...
User offline. Last seen 8 years 25 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 10 Jul 2005
Posts: 1347
Groups: None
Carmen,

From your post...

"From all my years of experience, in few projects I have had the acceptance and respect you talk about.
My best experience of acceptance was in Venezuela. I was a junior planner working with a senior planner who took the opportunity of lack of knowledge of the project manager in order to manage the project. The strategy was to let the project manager believes he was managing the project but in fact we (planners) were managing it."

That was a smart move. It seldom happens to other planners, yours was an exception.

From this post it is very clear that your actions behold that of a "TIMANO"

Do you know about "TIMANO"

Is it advisable for planning engineers to have the characteristic of a "TIMANO".

Cheers,
Sensei
Successful Project Management Consultant
Carmen Arape
User offline. Last seen 2 years 33 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 26 Jun 2004
Posts: 292
Dear Sensei,

Written by YOU, “the planning methodology must have acceptance throughout the project team and respect”.

From all my years of experience, in few projects I have had the acceptance and respect you talk about.
My best experience of acceptance was in Venezuela. I was a junior planner working with a senior planner who took the opportunity of lack of knowledge of the project manager in order to manage the project. The strategy was to let the project manager believes he was managing the project but in fact we (planners) were managing it.

We showed respect for his ignorance and support him with information. He showed respect to us. It was an excellent experience of mutual respect.


Written by you, “EARNED VALUE MANAGEMENT IS A MUST for us planning engineers to be effective”.

I have used earned value in the Past for Engineering progress Control . This methodology is hardly understood for everybody. If I find a manager with a good planning background, I will use this methodology.

Ciao,
carmen

Charleston-Joseph...
User offline. Last seen 8 years 25 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 10 Jul 2005
Posts: 1347
Groups: None
Carmen


HOW??????????????

I proposed that planning management methodology must used EARNED VALUE MANAGEMENT.

EARNED VALUE MANAGEMENT IS A MUST for us planning engineers to be effective.

What do you think Carmen??

Have you ever used EARNED VALUE MANAGEMENT.

I always used earned value management.

Cheers,

Sensei
Successful Project Management Consultant.
Charleston-Joseph...
User offline. Last seen 8 years 25 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 10 Jul 2005
Posts: 1347
Groups: None
I think the fundamentals here is respect of the planning profession.

Planning engineers should come up with planning approach that the other professionals and specialist must respect.

What I’m trying to say is that the planning methodology must have acceptance throughout the project teams.

How???

Cheers,
Sensei
Successful Project Management Consultant
Charleston-Joseph...
User offline. Last seen 8 years 25 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 10 Jul 2005
Posts: 1347
Groups: None
Hi Carmen,

I took note of this comments from you:

Charlie,

Due to that yesterday I have attended a Cross cultural communication course, I have identified the prejudices and stereotypes as a BARRIER to effective planning. Sometimes my cultural stereotypes influence my approach to team members at the moment of planning. This is my handicap.

I agree that working in multi cultural setting or multi nationalities will induced communication barriers within the project teams. Indeed planning engineers must cope up with this.

What are the possible solutions????

Cheers
Senseir
Successful Project Management Consultant.
Robert Foedisch
User offline. Last seen 8 years 44 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 7 Nov 2004
Posts: 34
Groups: None
I think we are talking about two diffeerent things here. On one hand we are discussing project management. on the other hand we are discussing planning which ideates and develops the projects. how ever in both cases the biggest barrier is not having a clear goal to which you (and your team mates) are working towards.
James Barnes
User offline. Last seen 8 weeks 2 days ago. Offline
Joined: 6 Sep 2007
Posts: 241
How to overcome prejudice. One of the biggest problems facing the human race now or at any other time.

I blush at some of the stuff my parents come out with sometimes and I’m sure they do about some of the stuff their parents said in their times. The point is improvement on a generational timescale, which I do believe is happening but oh so slowly.

So, if you can’t change the world, how to change your own personal perspective? I’d suggest putting yourself into a cultural situation where you are not in control. I worked 3 years in China on a chinese government job, staffed by 80% chinese management. It was a great learning experience, even if it was impossibly frustrating at times. Still easily the most interesting time I have ever had.

Onto planning,

I think the biggest barrier to planning, that the planner is in a position to do something about, is the size colour and exact shape of the planner’s own ego. In my experience planner who takes the "I control this project" approach will be largely ignored *unless* that planner can outperform each specialist at their own specialism, which I have never seen. This is the "who ar you to tell me how to do my job" attitude

In defining methods and schedules, the buy-in by the executor is key. Without this your plan is no more than your personal idea about how to execute the project. be sure that anyone on who this plan is imposed will go out of their way to find another way to execute, just to avoid being a sheep. OK, maybe not ALL but you get my point.

In my view the trick is 2 fold.

As Oliver States, a structured approach to the formation of the plan or you’ll get lost in it. Really structured. To an anal degree. Structure can, if executed correctly, actually give you flexibility. Different approaches to this is what I get from mentors that I have had. Project style will influence this greatly.

A collaborative approach with the executors. This can be tough. Executors (contractors etc) are usually atuned to doing the work rather than pouring over the minutae of methods and a common perception is that the schedule is a set of shackels best avoided. Another arguement you will hear is "making the plan is the planner’s job" as a way to isolate you. this sends you off into an ivory tower where you produce the plan and then get told "who are you to tell me how to do my job" when you pass it down. Not easy, but worth the effort to subvert this and get full input from the executors.

/my 2p
Carmen Arape
User offline. Last seen 2 years 33 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 26 Jun 2004
Posts: 292
Oliver,

Agree with about Master teaching you how THEY PLAN. But master’s know how is better than nothing while you develop your own KNOW HOW. There is a saying about pupils surpassing the masters.

Charlie,

Due to that yesterday I have attended a Cross cultural communication course, I have identified the prejudices and stereotypes as a BARRIER to effective planning. Sometimes my cultural stereotypes influence my approach to team members at the moment of planning. This is my handicap.

I can not help you about overcoming your handicap of being knowleadgeable in proper interaction with colleague….

Cheers
Robert Foedisch
User offline. Last seen 8 years 44 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 7 Nov 2004
Posts: 34
Groups: None
There are several barriers to effective planning. In my mind the single biggest barrier is not having a clear goal in mind. Another Barrier is not knowing what resources are available and not knowing how to divide up work this comes from knowing your planning team members.
Oliver Melling
User offline. Last seen 27 weeks 4 days ago. Offline
Joined: 24 Apr 2007
Posts: 595
Groups: The GrapeVine
There is no great mystery with planning, it is very simple.

The problem some people have is organising the way they deal with the large amounts of information used to build the plan.

I agree with Brad that the best way is to do.

Learning from ’masters’ is all good and well, but they don’t teach you how to plan, they teach you how they plan.
Charleston-Joseph...
User offline. Last seen 8 years 25 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 10 Jul 2005
Posts: 1347
Groups: None
Dear Carmen

I took notice of your comment

"There is another type of ignorance which I define the basic knowledge to proper interact with other team members. To acquire this knowledge is a matter of more time, I should say minimum 3 years in order to understand the work process of all disciplines working in a project.
Until today, when I am planning a work that I have not seem before, It takes me time to do some research in order to properly communicate with the specialist."

I agree with you.

And we need to interact on how to overcome this type of ingnorance.

This is also my handicap, to be knowleadgeable in proper interaction with colleague about what????? about our planning activities, about our work, etc.

Cheers
Sensei
Successful Project Management Consultant
Charleston-Joseph...
User offline. Last seen 8 years 25 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 10 Jul 2005
Posts: 1347
Groups: None
Your answers are excellent

I made a mistake.

Before we tacke this question. I should have clarified

WHAT IS EFFECTIVE PLANNING????

Simple english question, but, everyone may have different meaning.

So I will start another thread.

What is effective planning??????

I hope our native born english speaking colleague will englighten us or we can have different meaning

What are the criteria for effective planning?????

I think it is better to search goggle.

Cheers,

Sensei
Successful Project Management Consultant
Brad Lord
User offline. Last seen 5 years 43 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 27 May 2003
Posts: 256
Groups: None
the only barriers to planning is the individual, you either have an aptitude for it or you dont, Which is why we all do different jobs, if well all did the same job nothing would get done, personally I have learnt everything for myself with some reading of books but mostly listening to other people and learning from experience of doing the job, i believe there is nothing like being thrown in at the deep end, you either sink or swim, (wheres the life guard im drowning!!)

regards

brad
Anoon Iimos
User offline. Last seen 51 weeks 6 hours ago. Offline
Joined: 22 Sep 2006
Posts: 1416
people and mentality
Carmen Arape
User offline. Last seen 2 years 33 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 26 Jun 2004
Posts: 292
Charlie,

You mentioned IGNORANCE in basic planning. Agree with you BUT this type of ignorance is easy to overcome after one or two years of experience with the appropriate master and reading the appropriate books. Finding the right master at the right time was very important for me as a Junior planner.

There is another type of ignorance which I define the basic knowledge to proper interact with other team members. To acquire this knowledge is a matter of more time, I should say minimum 3 years in order to understand the work process of all disciplines working in a project.
Until today, when I am planning a work that I have not seem before, It takes me time to do some research in order to properly communicate with the specialist.

As a woman who thinks different from a man, It was really difficult to understand the electrical & instrumentation work. But civil, mechanical, piping, procurement, contracting SOW was easy.

Cheers,

Carmen