Plans are not just for the project team

When talking to one of my project managers about plan compliance it hit me that plans are not just the tool by which the PM manages the project and communicates to their team,but also the basis for corporate, customer and stakeholder updates. It sounds obvious but having all project planning to a corporate standard is not just about some ivory tower indivdual setting standards without knowing what it is like at the coal face but about being able to see a total view of project delivery for the whole organisation.

The clarity came after listening to podcast by Manager Tools, they recently talked about how each task we handout or is handed to us includes reporting on completion and, if it is a long enough task progress reporting. Reporting is part of the task, not an addition, so it follows that a plan updated on a weekly basis is part of the project not an overhead.

We have all undoubtably had the conversation with team members that if they did not have to report on what they were doing they would be able to hit dates. This raises the question when estimating effort and duration on our projects with these team members do we have disconnected assumptions? You, as PM assume they have allowed for progress updates, they may not even consider it. Do you always have the conversation,if ever?

So, as PMs do we allow adequate reporting effort in our own estimates?
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