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BAU -v- project priorities

Trudy Robinson - Thursday, April 28, 2011
It's really painful when business-as-usual (BAU) activities impact project deliverables - but unless you have a full time project team that don't have any BAU tasks, it is inevitable. 

The problem is, it's often those who cause the most delay who are the biggest contributors.

So, what can you do? 

Firstly, try to address this in your risk register at the beginning and for continual review - mitigation should include budget or whatever is required to prioiritise project requirements and alleviate pressure.  A person who is left with a full time BAU role as well as a full time project role is never going to get it all done - endeavour to second the important people into the full time project role and back fill them.  Back-filling is when their substantive position is looked after by someone else so they can focus on the project priorities.

You must also ensure the project 'priorities' are real priorities - not only important to you but critical to achieve project deliverables.  If it can wait, don't push it otherwise it can come across as the boy who called wolf.

You may also need to be seen to contribute to the grass roots type activities.  No matter how important you may think you are, at the end of the day if someone needs help data cleansing (or whatever) then so be it.  Many a time it has been that I've been able to do a mundane task faster than someone less experienced who has a thousand things to do.  Give them a hand - don't stay up on that high horse.  Obviously this is the exception not the norm but it never hurts!

Also remember that it is far easier for someone to review something rather than start from scratch.  So, get someone who doesn't know the full gammit to make a start on something important, get other input then by the time the busy person gets to it, the task will be greatly reduced.

More to come as time allows.
regards Trudy

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