So I’ve been getting into project management the last 18 months or so, and its been quite a bit of fun.  What surprises me, is that I really enjoy the work – it has been taking more and more of my interest in place of my passion for technology.

The thing that also stuns me, is that I’m actually good at it.  Don’t get me wrong, I still have a LOT to learn about project management, methods, tools, tricks, organization, etc…  Of course a person really never stops learning.  The neat thing about PM work that I’ve found so far is how it streches me in a whole new direction that I’d never had to work towards in just a technology-focused position.

Now with that all said, the project I’m trying to get started and organized at work has me really twisted around.  First, until recently it really hasn’t been a project, it has mostly been a skunk-works effort to get it done, and we’ve found as a department that we really need to formalize what we are attempting to do.  So what is the project?  Our Information Technology Lab Environment.

Of course we have a bit more long-winded name for it, mostly because of the complexity of what we are trying to do.  The Lab has many parts, some are actually critical, others simply a support roll in that they’re used for research (obviously).

So what’s so hard you ask?  You know, it really shouldn’t be difficult, and maybe its because of the way I’ve approached it.  See, our group has worked on this little effort for about 2 years, suffling the responsibilities from one staff member to another.  Each generating their own pieces of the puzzle, but not stepping back to look at the whole mosaic.  Then we bring about a dozen team members together about 8 to 14 times and generate a ton of additional information.

What I’m babbling about is that I’ve got a ton of information, but have lost sight of the starting point.  I’ve taken the group up to the higher levels where we can see how all the pieces fit together, but I’ve now got too much information to go back and actually morph what we’ve got into a true multi-year, multi-phase project plan.  A seasoned PM would be able to do it in about half a week I suppose, but I’m still really learning the craft.

What I’m planning on monday, is to start from the beginning, writting the project plan, plugging in time, costs, resources, etc… Taking the wonderful mountain of information, drawings, concepts, and such that we have accumulated and using it as a research tool to answer the basic project questions that our Project Methodology asks.  So for the two who ‘put’ the 800lb. gorilla on my back 😉 I think I’ve got it figured out how and where to start.

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