Nathan Sharp, Blogject Manager
My first SAP implementation project as a Project Manager was quite the roller-coaster experience. I remember bringing on some team members with the promise that it would be a 9 month assignment with almost no travel. Many of those people were still there 2 years later and had spent many weeks working out of the country.
I wondered how the team was feeling. Still enthused or sick of the whole thing? I needed a way to measure their sense of how the project was going. It needed to be anonymous as I wanted their real opinions. There were 65-70 team members, so it had to be easy to administer at the end of the weekly team meeting.
Thus the Project Stock Price was born. Every week, team members were each handed a slip of paper and were asked to select an appropriate choice along with an open question to capture what was on their minds:
- We’ll definitely make the go-live date with a good solution
- I think we’ll make it, but we need to sort out some issues
- I’m not sure we’ll make it. There are lots of big problems
- No way. There are too many major roadblocks
- Please list important issues, problems, roadblocks with suggestions to resolve
The slips were collected and analyzed later. 3 points were given for each "definitely make it" category, 2 p
oints for each "think we'll make it", 1 point for “not sures”, and nothing for the “no ways”. The scores were then simply added together and the week’s Project Stock Price was calculated.
The Stock Price was plotted on a chart along with previous results, and then published to the team and key project contacts the same day. The comments received were reviewed and followed-up in time for the next team meeting.
It proved to be a very useful tool and surprisingly accurate. Whenever there was bad news, the Stock Price went down. If there was good news, the Price shot up.
After a few weeks, Project Sponsors would want to know the latest Stock Price before it was published, the reasons for any significant change, and best of all, how they could help if the Stock went down!