Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Making Cookies, the Project Management way

The next time when you make cookies, just observe the processes involved in it. And you will realize that it is nothing different from the processes we follow in project management.
1)      Initiating process: It all starts from Needs. This is where you decide what you need. You research on what and how you want to make the cookies based on both external and internal environmental factors. A huge product or just some homemade cookies? Put this in your project charter. You can list the following in your project charter:
a.      Initial Requirements – homemade cookies or a big product/ package,
b.      Stakeholder list – it’s for family, your girl friend or for a party,
c.       Purpose – that will determine the size of the project,
d.      High level budget – How much do I need to invest? Different budget for homemade cookies for different purposes, and different budget for outsourcing the cookies.
e.      Risks – What if the cookies are over baked? What if the guests don’t turn up, or more guests come in? What is the mitigation plan?
2)      Planning process – Now that you are sure of “how many” cookies based on the type of party/ occasion (stakeholders and purpose) (Scope), next, you decide on what “ingredients” are needed to make the cookies (Resources). What will be your “approach” to making the cookies (Overall Plan)? How much “time” will each task take (Time)? How much “buffer” do you have before the guests pour in (Contingency)? How do you manage risks (Mitigation)? How do you plan to procure raw materials for the cookies (procurement)?
3)      Executing process – This is when you actually mix the ingredients, put the dough on a cookie tray, and pop the tray into the oven…
4)      Monitoring and Controlling – Now, keep an eye on the baking of the cookies. Adjust the processes as you need. Check the consistency as you are mixing the ingredients. Keep an eye on the timer as you put the cookies into the oven.
5)      Closing – Your cookies (Product) are baked. Test to see and ensure that it tastes right (Verification). Make sure you and your stakeholders get to eat the tasty cookies (quality) on time (Deliver). Take feedback (Lessons learnt), so that next time, you can make even better cookies!!!!