Alik Levin's

Clarity, Technology, and Solving Problems | 

May, 2009

  • Alik Levin's

    Hollywood's Project Management System


    What if I tell you there is a project management system that works? By "works" I mean it helps completing projects on time, on budget, on spec. No more 2% slip. Think such system does not exist? It does exist in Hollywood. Not in the movies. The system is wide spread across major film studios. In his book, Hollywood Secrets of Project Management Success, James R. Persse covers Hollywood's approach to successful project management. The main ingredients are:

    • Consistency. "Consistency of vision, a common agreement, reached through communications and reviews, regarding the purpose, scope, and tone of the project".
    • Predictability. "The system defines a present work flow that can be mapped out, planned, and followed, thereby ensuring that essential work phases are not skipped and critical milestones are not missed or ignored."
    • Accountability. "Slipping 10 percent over budget is a $6 million slip, so it's helpful to know who did the slipping and why. The system, build accountability into every phase of production. The production system pays very close attention to job descriptions."
    • Communications. "… it promotes communications – both informal, casual communications and formal binding communication. Producing, at its heart, is a communications job."
    • Trackability. "… the system promotes regular and deep-reaching measures of progress. This process tracking begins on day 1 and does not end until the lid of the can of the final cut is taped shut."

    Hmm... seems nothing revolutionary to me. If so, then why IT projects always slip? They slip massively in all dimensions – scope, budget, time. May be because project management skills are not that valued? May be project manager (director) must be a super star for the whole project to be succesful? I cannot find another explanation to such phenomena. BTW, next time you finish watching a movie pay close attention to titles running in the end. Usually director of the movie comes before the movie star. Why is it so?

    Persse cites Bill Fay, President of Production with Legendary Pictures, as he comments on the fact that IT projects often slip 100% in budget and time, - "That wouldn't fly in this business… no able producer or competent production team would ever allow project to drift so far off base."

    Is you project manager a super star? Are you set to produce the next block buster?

    Read Hollywood Secrets of Project Management Success to help you produce the next IT mega hit.

    My related posts

    -  Is Your Project Going To Fail?



Page 2 of 2 (4 items) 12