3 Tips on Managing Projects and Clients

1. At ProjectPro, we created a guideline that we call the 1%-10% rule. The duration of any lowest-level task should be between a minimum and maximum duration. The minimum duration is 1% of the project duration. The maximum is 10% of the project duration. There are some exceptions the rule. We recommend you do not apply it to the following items: Summary tasks, overhead tasks, recurring detail tasks, milestones, and tasks in high-level schedules that are only created to estimate duration and cost of the whole project in order to gain approval for the project.

2. Capture out-of-scope elements in a note on the project summary task (ribbon Format, check the Project Summary Task box) using the Notes tool (Task ribbon). We recommend paying careful attention to clarifying what is in-scope and out-of-scope to manage the expectations of your client carefully and early in the life of the project. Creating a detailed WBS and list of out-of-scope deliverables with your client’s agreement ensures that you have had a veritable meeting of the mines with the client, the essence of a contract.

3. Executives and clients tend to get too nervous when you do not give them enough visibility into your project. You need to give them opportunities to make a difference. If executives or clients do not have enough visibility into your project, they will come and get the information they need. They may come into your office and start directing you, which is known as micro-managing. You can prevent most micro-managing by simply providing enough detail,

This article originally appeared as content in Forecast Scheduling with Microsoft Project 2013: Best Practices for Real World Projects, by Eric Uyttewaal.

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Written by Eric Uyttewaal

Eric is a thought leader on project, program, and portfolio management. He spends most of his time using software from Microsoft. He has authored seven well-known textbooks including ‘Forecasting Programs,’ ‘Forecast Scheduling with Microsoft Project 2010/2013/Online,’ and ‘Dynamic Scheduling with Microsoft Project 2000/2002/2003.’ He founded ProjectPro, which specializes in Microsoft Project, Project Server and Project Online. Eric developed several Add-ins with his team that enhance the capabilities of Microsoft Project in creating better schedules (Forecast Scheduling App), managing cross-project dependencies (CrossLinksPro), identifying and documenting the Critical Path (PathsPro) and creating S-curve reports (CurvesPro). He was president of PMI-Ottawa in 1997. Eric has received awards from PMI in 2009, from MPUG in 2012, and from Microsoft from 2010 until 2017 (MVP).

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1 Comment
  1. Very good and thanks! I have always tended to simply use the “1 day” rule and not tracked tasks under a day even in multi year contracts. I don’t care to list every bolt at the base of every pipe rack tower; just that the base was secured. I haven’t found that project needs to track every bolt, torque and sequencing but it does need to let me know that tower three is secure. I hate to allow resources to use separated excel checklists but you are right, there is a certain level of detail that just needs to stay in the field and you depend on the resources to make the proper connections to Project.

    Thanks Eric

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