When I was doing my first project management course I was a bit surprised how simple and ordinary all the presented techniques and methods seemed. I promptly shared my observation with our trainer, saying that this whole project management thing appears to me to be just common sense. She replied “Yes, this is mostly common sense, but it’s not common practice”. Even though I don’t even remember her name this sentence stuck in my head… and finally I reached the stage when I can appreciate it fully.

It is especially true in our small startup – even though I have now a team of about 15 people it is still a small company. And I have to do lots of operational stuff all the time.

In the meantime we run a few projects. Even with all the effort I did put in the past in learning PM techniques, getting my PM certificate etc. etc. it turns out it’s very difficult indeed to apply those methods in real life, day in, day out. Properly defining the scope of each, delimiting work packages, planning their relationships, costs etc. and then managing it all by the book is hard to do. It all requires too much overhead and there simply no time to do it all – especially when I do have some (small but existing again) private life.

I think that for situations like these – small team, many conflicting goals, short deadlines, close contact with stakeholders etc. some “light project management” methodology is needed. Something that could be a PM equivalent or universalization of software development methods like “extreme programming”. It should be some subset of essential building blocks and simple, time effective techniques. It is definitely something to think off in the future.