I have been a big fan of the The One-Page Project Manager for many years. In fact, the author Clark Campbell reminded me in a phone call that I was the first one to write a review on the first book. Since then, they have added three more books to the collection with the most recent, The New One-Page Project Manager: Communicate and Manage Any Project With A Single Sheet of Paper replacing the first book. In this one, they even tackle Agile Project management that I found extremely useful.
I was finally able to run down Mick Campbell co-founder, co-author and Managing Partner of OPPM International to discuss their latest efforts. Mick brought a rich portfolio of both technical and qualitative experience in traditional and agile project management.
Joe: I think it’s (One Page Project Management) better than a reporting thing. I have always used it as a communication tool. I think, it raises questions, allows things to move around, assigns a lot of responsibilities and you can even do some “what ifs” with it if you would like. How has it developed in your mind? It’s more than a reporting tool isn’t it?
Mick: It really is. In our new book, as we thought on how to get the idea of communication to the market in general, we used the analogy of a watch face. For anyone who flies knows that still dials are well used, despite all the electronics that we can still put into our planes. It is because they communicate so crisply.
So, we used that analogy to say that communication if I take one step back, communication is the great statistical difference maker in, certainly, in project success and we would probably take, even, a step back and say in business and life and other elements. Our ability to communicate well provides for us an opportunity for success.
Recognizing that you have hit the nail on the head identifying that the One-Page Project Manager, albeit, the genesis of a report, facilitates for communication, pushing really, a lot of, what we might call from a Lean perspective, non-value added work out of our communication and making it intuitive.
You look at your watch, you don’t do calculations, you just have a general sense if you’ve got a meeting at 11:30 and you’re looking at your watch, and it’s 11:00 you know in your gut how long a half an hour is how many different things you might be able to accomplish before that.
We wanted to have the OPPM, the One-Page Project Manager, be just that. A communication tool that, when provided to any individual, they might look at it and have a sense intuitively as to what’s going on, what’s the status, how are we doing, what areas might we need some more help on, or, at a high level, you were spot on.
t’s a tool that facilitates communication. We’ve had a woman send us her daughter’s wedding on an OPPM and maybe a little bit later I can tell the listeners how the effort to put Governor Romney in the White House from a transition team was done on OPPMs as well.
The One Page Project Manager is not meant to replace a full blown project management system. It helps you identify and communicate the essential details of a project. I recommended the book in my book, Marketing with A3 as an effective reporting tool. I have also written before about the The One-Page Project Manager for Execution: Drive Strategy and Solve Problems with a Single Sheet of Paper. I think the OPPM is a great companion to Lean and especially A3s. I utilize the OPPM with A3s slightly different than the book describes. I use the entire back side of the A3 for the OPPM. I take advantage of a little artistic interpretation of what constitutes one page.
Related Blog Post:
Learn the One Page Project Manager at Shingo Prize Conference
Listen to the Podcast with Mick: One Page Project Manager Podcast
P.S. I have certainly stretched the use of OPPM and managed some rather in-depth and lengthy projects with it. In fact one such project I actually reconfigured the Excel sheet to hold over 100 tasks.