O'Reilly logo

The Art of Project Management by Scott Berkun

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

3.4. Asking the right questions

The simplest way to frame planning work is to refine a set of questions that the planning work needs to answer. They should be pulled from the three perspectives with the intention of combining them into a single plan. Initially, they can be explored independently. Early project definition can be open ended. People can run with pet ideas or hunches for a while, they just need to be framed. Everyone should know that it will all come together into MRDs or vision documents, which will require many discussions that combine business, engineering, and customer thinking into a single plan.

The questions (often called project-planning questions) should be pulled from the three lists discussed earlier, based on their relevance to the project you're working on. If it's a new project (not a v2), then you'll need basic questions to define the fundamentals. If it's a small upgrade to an existing system, there may be fewer business and customer issues to consider. But no matter what the project is, do the exercise of running through the questions. It will force out assumptions and ideas that haven't been recognized and give everyone a starting point to discuss them.

This project-planning question list should be free of most perspective boundaries. Instead, you'll have a holistic point of view of the project, which can be divided, as needed, into engineering, business, or customer considerations. For example, the following list shows more complex versions of questions ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required