In the world of getting things done, managers encounter a list of project management methodologies and techniques as extensive as a menu from The Cheesecake Factory. Some methods are suited for large, high-risk, and complex projects such as building a skyscraper, developing a medical product, or sending a person to Mars. Such efforts may leverage traditional project planning such as the waterfall method; while others are suited for moderate to small sized projects with average levels of complexity such as publishing a book, developing a marketing strategy, or developing a website may opt for more flexible methods such as extreme programming or agile.
To place a “one-size fits all” adult hat upon a child will result in the revelation that there exists some assumption in the claim. The assumption is that no child-sized head will attempt to wear an adult hat. The same is true for small teams crunching through everyday operational projects. It may be the common perception that such efforts are not worthy of the time and resources spent on project management. However, when the team discovers that the tyranny of the urgent has once-again required an all-nighter to meet the deadline and expectations and needs have not been expressed well among all involved, it becomes evident that a small dose of project management would have gone a long way.
Enter the Play Card methodology. This approach to project management was born out of the cries of need by small teams for a light-weight, but effective project management solution. This approach is geared to develop team-ownership and accountability, maintain focus, and develop healthy habits of goal setting. The critical components of the Play Card Methodology are:
- It is a goal-based rather than a task-based method.
- It is an interactive, collaborative, and communicative process.
- Daily check-ins provide accountability to the whole team.
- The entire team and management own responsibility to the goals defined.
- It is a continuous improvement focused method.
- All meetings are short, touch-base style interactions.
- The Play Card itself requires only a whiteboard, and a dry erase marker.
How are these any different than other project methodologies? Agile, Waterfall, Kanban, and XP could claim all of these in some fashion. In future blog posts, we will explore each of these components in further detail and through its evaluation, we will discover its distinctive attributes.