I already blogged about the relevance of ‘being proactive’ and ‘begin with the end in mind’, the first two of the seven habits of highly effective people in project management. The next is putting first things first. A peep into cyclomatic complexity is of value here. A bug, when detected and corrected within the phase of it’s injection is cheaper to correct. As the lag increases between the phase of injection and the phase of correction, the cost increases exponentially. Another concept which connects well here is the cost of quality. When we invest in certain prevention activities also known as price of conformance, then we save a lot of rework also known as price of non conformance. Most of the prevention activities are important but not urgent, hence gets postponed, inviting lot of extras which could have been avoided.
Proper project planning is one activity which takes a back seat very often. It is generally considered as a formality, hence done without proper attention. Every project is unique hence every project plan must be unique, hence cut and paste plans will not work out well. The project manager must have the inclination to sit down and think through the whole project and develop the plan according to the project strategy that is evolving out of the thought process. This is the beginning of pitting the first things first. Then comes execution of the plan which will ensure that you are doing the right things in the right sequence.
Good luck. Put the first things first. If you have not read Stephen coveys the seven habits of highly effective people, please do so, which will provide you with greater insights about the whole idea of the seven habits. A must read.