Posted by: kerrywills | June 28, 2013

Forming Planets

I was watching a show this weekend on how the solar system was formed. Essentially there was a big swirl of stuff (gas, matter, etc) in the universe and eventually it came together and formed physical objects such as stars and planets.I see this approach as very similar to the work we do, as Project Mangers, when we start projects and programs. When we first start up a project there is all sorts of little pieces, debris and nebulous information. We have to identify all of the matter that is swirling around and then form it into physical things such as projects and deliverables.


When I am first starting up a program I like to create authoritative sources of information and organize the work into them. This is the solar system of deliverables that I like to form when first ramping up …

  • Charter to document the scope, objectives, team structure and approach
  • Master project list to organize the work into
  • Master scope document to identify all of the known scope organized by the projects
  • High level program plan to call out key deliverables, milestones and dependencies
  • Resource roster to identify resources and duration which is then used as an initial estimate

The beginning part of a program is incredibly important because it sets the tone and plan for the entire duration and therefore it is important to take all of the matter, particles and information and create the structure that is needed so that the planets can form properly and live long lives. If not, there will just be one big black hole and the program will have no chances of survival.


  1. […] Kerry Wills sees some elements in common between planet formation and project formation.  Except for scope, cost, and schedule, of course! […]

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