This is a bit off topic but thought I could share a story that might help someone else.

This past week my daughter was assigned a project at school with 4 other classmates. She came to me in a panic yesterday because none of her project team members did any of the tasks they were assigned. And it's due tomorrow. We had to run to 3 stores trying to find materials and didn't find everything they needed.

So now she is upset because they may not meet their deadline. I asked her how she was going to handle this when she gets to school. Her response was "Well, I'll just have to do everything my self from now on because I can't trust anyone to do anything." (Does this sound like our projects sometimes?)

So speaking with her a bit more, I offered to help her learn how to better manage her projects. I came up with a simple approach that she could easily remember in the future. Tell me what you think:

G.O. T.I.M.E.

G = What is the Goal of the project? Make sure everyone understands it. They don't necessarily have to agree with it, but they must work toward the same goal.

O = Be Open to opinions, suggestions and changes. Make sure to point out that everyone is important to this team and that all suggestions and opinions will be considered as long as it keeps the goal of the project on track.

T = List all the Tasks of the project and set the due date for each one.

I = Who are the Individual members of the team. What tasks will each person do? Who would be the best person for each task?

M = Motivate the team by managing their time. Meet with each person to make sure they are on time with their tasks. If not, ask them what they are going to do to get back on track.

E = Set Expectations. Make sure everyone on the team reviews their tasks and due dates. Keep everyone on task by regularly reviewing these and making sure they understand the expectations of the project.

shutmemo's picture

"The golden rule is that there are no golden rules."
G.B. Shaw

GOTIME covers the essentials of project management processes' interaction. "Plan-Do-Check-Act" cycle (as defined by Shewhart and modified by Deming in ASQ Handbook) is here. T is Plan, I defines who is doing what in conjunction with T and one can assume members will execute the tasks after this, Meeting and checking the progress is Check and asking them what they are going to do to get back on track is Act. Their answer to this question will trigger the cycle again going back to Plan.

Being open is not an act though. It is a state. All the others, points to an act in someway. It welcomes change, but care must be exercised and this is somewhat implied by "as long as it keeps the goal of the project on track".

Setting goals and expectations (Scope Management), planning and assigning the tasks (Time and Human Resource Management), monitoring and controlling the outputs by meetings (Quality Management, Communication Management). We are leaving out cost, risk and procurement management (integration management encompasses the whole thing). In a tiny project, cost and procurement virtually does not exist. Thus, I would say you are significantly missing one PMBOK knowledge area in GOTIME which is Risk Management.

Start with "What can go wrong?" and Identify the risk. Then, Analyse the risk. Plan the response. Monitor and Check the risk. This process is vital in my view in all projects.


"Risk comes from not knowing what you`re doing."
Warren Buffett

US41's picture

I think "Who is going to do what by when" pretty much covers all of that without the acronym and without remembering six items.

I don't think as a manager I care about "O" because it is not behavior. No one needs to be open to anything. They just need to engage in the right behaviors. Using the brainstorming technique on this site forces listening to gather suggestions. Using the decision making techniques on this site for groups (voting on the stormed items or guiding toward particular ones) does the same.

I think anytime a manager starts describing how someone should "be" or "feel" they are outside of their mandate and likely to get pushback - justifiable pushback. Focus on behavior - not internal settings.