Common Challenges and Pitfalls

Table of contents:


A common planning oversight is not factoring the CM activities into the task assignments or not allocating specific CM roles. As a result, the individuals assigned to CM activities are often over-allocated. Thus, when time is tight, the CM activities are the first to go.

We've addressed the challenges you will have on your project if you do not have a CM Plan, but even with a CM Plan, there are still some remaining pitfalls that you need to be on the lookout for:

  • Not Following the Plan One of the first things to go when the realities of the project hit is execution of the CM Plan. There are two things you can do to help make sure the CM Plan is executed. One, use an independent auditor (such as a QA Lead) and include the CM activities as part of the quality review process. Two, make sure to include the CM activities in the WBS and project schedule.


    For whatever CM tools you leverage, make sure there is a CM tool expert either on your team or available to the core project team.

  • Tool Difficulties As stated before, configuration management tools should be leveraged whenever possible, and in some cases, they are absolutely mandatory. That being said, the proper use of these tools is not automatic. If you are going to use a tool, you need to make sure the right team members are trained on how to properly use the tool(s), and you to verify that the tool works correctly (not that this is ever an issue or anything).

The Absolute Minimum

At this point, you should have a solid understanding of the following:

  • The benefits of properly managing project work products include increased productivity (by avoiding lost work), enhanced professional credibility, audit-proofing your project, and increased customer satisfaction.
  • The principles of managing project work products are identification, protection, and tracking… and, of course, CYA.
  • The configuration management plan documents the processes and procedures that will be utilized to ensure project work products are protected and that changes are controlled.
  • Like other elements of the project, make sure stakeholders understand the value of the CM plan and are properly trained on how to use the process.
  • Make sure your back-up recovery procedures work correctly before you actually need them.
  • Consider web-enabled configuration management tools for virtual project team environments.
  • For other helpful information on configuration management, check out CM Crossroads at

The map in Figure 12.3 summarizes the main points we reviewed in this chapter.

Figure 12.3. Overview of managing project deliverables.

Part i. Project Management Jumpstart

Project Management Overview

The Project Manager

Essential Elements for any Successful Project

Part ii. Project Planning

Defining a Project

Planning a Project

Developing the Work Breakdown Structure

Estimating the Work

Developing the Project Schedule

Determining the Project Budget

Part iii. Project Control

Controlling a Project

Managing Project Changes

Managing Project Deliverables

Managing Project Issues

Managing Project Risks

Managing Project Quality

Part iv. Project Execution

Leading a Project

Managing Project Communications

Managing Expectations

Keys to Better Project Team Performance

Managing Differences

Managing Vendors

Ending a Project

Absolute Beginner[ap]s Guide to Project Management
Absolute Beginner[ap]s Guide to Project Management
ISBN: 078973821X
Year: 2006
Pages: 169 © 2008-2020.
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