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termsThis is my third column describing basic project management terms. I will one day place all of these in a dorktionary for my loyal readers. Maybe I could make one million dollars. You get all of this knowledge for free – for now anyway.

Assumption – These are bad things that you assume will not happen. If you call these items “assumptions” you can just pretend they will not happen and go about managing your project. If the problems occur, you can refer back to your assumptions as the reason you did not manage the problems. In essence they are a “do-over”. I love assumptions! They are a project manager’s best friend.

Activity – Activities are pieces of work that go on your schedule. You can make these activities at a high-level such as “Build the Bridge” or very detailed like “Go to the bathroom at 10:00”. The project manager decides at what level you want to manage the project depending on how interested you are in the work. For instance, if you are not so motivated you could assign an activity that says “Construct the Building” and give a due date for 18 months from now. Then you can focus on more interesting matters and come back in 18 months to see if the work is completed or not. On the other hand if you don’t trust the people that work on the team you can manage them on an hourly basis.

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I am a project manager working on a project that will dramatically affect the way our company does business. I consider myself something of a communication expert and have made sure to let everyone in the organization know that our project is going to completely change the way they perform their jobs. In fact, since we will be more efficient in the future we probably will not needs as many staff. Well, for some reason people are becoming nervous about our project. The project sponsor has insisted that I do something called marketing communication to start to build a positive image for our project. I am a project manager – not a marketing manager. What is marketing communication?

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