At OSE, staff keep a work log according to Work Log Guidelines. Staff also maintains and updates a Critical Path Diagram and a planning spreadsheet (with Gantt chart) of milestones and tasks according to a standard waterfall project management technique. Because all documents are cloud embeddable, linked, and live-editable, this method allows for agile project management, allowing for organizational learning while allowing for modification of a planned task backlog.
Review process includes a monthly self-assessment, with the following checklist:
- Have you kept a regular log? Comment on any irregularities or missed days.
- Have you posted all your work product in your log?
- Have you done weekly planning and review? How was that useful?
- Were your goals and role clear to you?
- What are your main accomplishments for the month? List 3-5 and include links.
- What worked for you this month?
- What didn't work, and how could it be improved?
- What are your main 3-5 milestones for next month?
- What is the major milestone that you'd like to say you accomplished after this coming month?
- How Are you using open tools, publishing all your results on an ongoing basis?
- How Are you communicating your progress via OSE social media?
- What measures are you taking to invite collaborators to work with you or with OSE?
- Who have you collaborated with this month outside of the Factor e Farm team?
- How would you assess the achievements of the other members of the core staff and other key team members?
- What other measures could you try next month to enhance the open collaboration aspects of your work?
- Has your Critical Path Diagram been useful? Are you meeting your Critical Path objectives?
- How has your Tasks spreadsheet helped you? What do you like about it, and what isn't working?
- How confident are you about your financial planning - how well does it/is it expected to meet reality? Is your risk assessment clear?
- Has the project been on budget? How effectively is spending being converted into mission-critical value for OSE? What costs (time, money, materials,.) can be reduced or optimized?
For constant quality improvement as an organization, we are creating a Review Board for strategic organizational and technical learning. OSE is looking for advisors to oversee the review process - to give us continuing feedback - so we can engage in mid-course correction on an ongoing basis.
This is critical because our work because our Project Management involves not only process development, but careful documentation to develop templates so we can scale hiring via quick on-boarding. This can be done by good process documentation. Therefore, our Project Management process is documented so that it can serve as a template for rapid learning by future developers.
The requirement for a Review Board member is to commit 4 hours per month to serve on our Review Board. The goal would be to study 1 or 2 staff work logs on the OSE team (depending on how much time it takes to review one person's work in a meaningful way), after we prepare a review brief (as in Self-Assessment above). The Reviewer's role is to study OSE peoples' work product and planning (Critical Path Diagram, Task Spreadsheet, Self-Review in work log), and make recommendations on course of action, mid-course corrections, termination, recruiting, diversification, focus, expansion, resource allocation, etc. These recommendations will be made either in the work log or personnel file, as appropriate.
We are just looking to add some more rigor to our process, as a learning organization. OSE is looking for sound strategic decision-making assistance - to help with tactical and strategic issues.
This applies at the level of Oraganizational Review and Technical Review. Organizational Review refers to those issues related to creating an innovative, powerful, lean, learning, growing organization. The Technical Review refers to improving the quality and performance of our products, while retaining adherence to OSE Specifications.
To date, lack of proper review has been a significant issue for us, and as we move to world class, we need to improve.
- Bob Cohn - viewed Review Process as systematizing micromanagement until I communicated that we are trying to generate 'templates for dummies' - which is no longer micromanaging. It's documenting as guinea pigs. Otherwise, it could be seen as looking over shoulder via microscope. Typically we hire a person to be capable to run a job. Thinks it is disrespectful to micromanage. Q - how do we keep on critical path? Gantt chart ok. What are the pieces of output that are to be generated? Timeline that I check myself. I measure what collaborator gives me, not how he gets there.
- Bob Cohn - Whether it works depends on the people. Presumably we bring on people that are capable. Ok, but what about improvement. Make sure it is there. Milestones. So more motivational. Tight deadline with very specific product - as opposed to a big tracker with every step of the way. Very specific list as opposed to walk into the aisle, open the car door. Specific in product, not specific process.
- Focus on triggers and dependencies - or enough milestones - to make sure the milestone is not met.
- For 37 tasks of last 6 months - how do you track them.
- Take note of things done right. Then go to things not done right. Give feedback in both directions.