Saturday, March 28, 2015

Document Everything

In investigative work, of which I've been involved in, there's the well known rule of ABC; I've extended it to 'ABCDE'; less snappy but more representative of the work:
  • Assume nothing
  • Believe no one
  • Check everything
  • Document
  • Evidence.
In a project context, we can make that 'document everything.

I sat down with a 'not-senior-not-junior' member of my project team last week to discuss her work. I'd been puzzled over the seeming order in which she was doing it;  with her team leader being away it was time to make inquiries.

I found a disaster unfolding before me.

Her team leader (the away one) had been quite clear on the mission and was seemingly executing it well. It was relatively small, self-contained and low risk, so I left it to her.

In the transfer of information to the 2IC team leader something had gotten lost and the tree being barked up was in the wrong forest!


A brief project plan, or statement of brief would have clarified everyone's perception, so I'm going to knock together a template for just such a thing. It makes good procedural discipline as well, so that a pattern of activity is instilled in the team when undertaking a contributory task, to ensure they know how it advances the overall mission, and so they can see how it achieves what it needs to.

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