What did you do this summer? (Musings on 590 project planning)

In a nutshell, I learned a new language! The primary take away from ICM590DC_12S1 Project Planning was a stunning realization that, despite almost 30 years of steadily working on 100s, perhaps 1000s, of projects, that there is an entire world centered around project management. It has its own language and terminologies, its own methodologies, its own industry associations, and best practices, and software, etc.

Most of my past 30 years have been spent in the legal world, with the past 20 years in litigation support helping attorneys to present their evidence electronically in the courtroom. During this entire time, I never heard of a WBS, or of project requirements or risk management, or myriad other concepts and terms relating to effective project planning. The main textbook chosen as our introduction to this world was an excellent resource, Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Project Management, 2nd. ed., by Gregory Horine. A perfect primer for a beginner like me!

The second primary take away from the course is the realization of the importance of initial planning and steady communication. And if the key to success is communication, then the pathway to success is continued revisiting of the plan and paying attention to its details. I confess to initially being skeptical about this course as well as a little dismayed to have to take it during the summer in order to stay on track for graduation. Thankfully, smarter heads are in charge and I can now travel along in this project planning world armed with a new vision, new tools, and a new language.


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