In the first two articles in this series, I covered the context and planning work which has gone into our move. This article is being written three days after we moved into the new home. Nearly all boxes are unpacked and we’ve even managed to put some of our home decorations up but there’s still a lot left to do to achieve our desired outcome.

Given the uncertainties involved in relocating to a new city and the fact that this is our first move in over a decade, more effort had to be spent on risk management than on some of the other knowledge areas. There were multiple milestones leading up to the move and significant delays or cost overruns in achieving any of them would have been serious. Whether it was getting the demand loan funding on time, ensuring utilities were transitioned over in a timely manner or having the movers show up on time, multiple risks had to be managed.

While the move itself tended to involve a number of negative risks, the post-move stages have also introduced some positive ones. For example, certain renovations which we felt would be required weren’t. Thankfully, we had a prioritized list of renos so freed up funding could be quickly reallocated! Nearly every threat risk response with the exception of avoidance was utilized. While a formal risk register wasn’t produced, we did have a common understanding of the top three risks on any given day and used expected monetary value to plan how much contingency reserves and schedule buffer we needed to address the impacts of any realized risks. For the most part, the risk management process has been effective so far as none of the identified risks were realized. Unfortunately, we did incur the impacts of an unidentified risk related to cancellation of the scheduled payment of our property taxes but thankfully those financial impacts were minor.

Needless to say, procurement management was heavily exercised in this project. Both products and services were procured using a combination of firm fixed price and time and materials contracts. No RFIs, RFPs, RFQs, or IFBs were issued but we contacted multiple vendors where there was likely to be significant variation in price or quality and went with highly rated ones in cases where the service or product being provided was a commodity. The bulk of procurement activities are still remaining as we have shifted into the high priority renos and upgrades stage of our execution phase, but to date no issues have emerged.

Stakeholder management has been one of the least formally performed knowledge areas although thorough identification had to be done of every stakeholder who needed to be aware of our move. Aside from the sellers of our new home and the purchasers of our old home, there were no other opportunities for misalignment in the overall direction of the project. With those two stakeholders, regular engagement and explicit, clear (and sometimes formal) communication was used to ensure we remained on the same page.

So even though the project isn’t done, there are some lessons I’ve learned which might help if we ever have to move again (not if I can help it!). There are also some opportunities which could be exploited by someone with more entrepreneurial spirit than mine. For example, notifying all service providers of a change of address is an extremely time consuming, manual process. Thankfully most can be addressed online, but some require phone calls and if someone was to offer a service to handle it for you, that might be worth funding!

Looking back at my life cycle choice for this project and the tailoring I performed across the PMBOK knowledge areas, I’m comfortable that the planning and execution effort has met the Goldilocks test and has been “just right”!

(If you liked this article, why not pick up my book Easy in Theory, Difficult in Practice which contains 100 other lessons on project leadership? It’s available on Amazon.com  and on Amazon.ca  as well as a number of other online book stores)

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