Project management motto: Be prepared

While talking with some of the experts on project management for this issue's
cover story, I was reminded of an old boss who had great ideas but often carried
them to the extreme.

I worked for a newsletter company and each newsletter
was reported and written by one person. Thus, each
newsletter was a one-person show.

The boss had a requirement that twice each year, the
editors had to update what he called their beer truck
memos.

You might already know where I'm going with
this. The purpose of the memo was that if an editor
got hit by a beer truck, someone could pick up
that memo and still produce a newsletter that
week.

The memo included a day-by-day, step-by-step
description of how you did your job. There was
an extensive list of sources and contacts as well as
a list of the hot topics of the day.

Although this was more of a continuity-of-operations plan, I can't help but
think good project management applies ? you have to know what you do, how
you do it and what resources are needed.

We don't have a beer truck memo here at Washington Technology, but the
more I think of it, we probably should.

One of the principles of project management that I learned working on this
issue is that the more you can institutionalize processes the better prepared you
are for change.

And as government contractors know all too well, change is always coming.

About the Author

Nick Wakeman is the editor-in-chief of Washington Technology. Follow him on Twitter: @nick_wakeman.

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