When I was a young lad I enlisted in the United States Navy. It was there that I was taught the fundamentals of project management. This was before ISO 2000, 6 sigma, or any other technique of the day. It was old fashioned wit born from the tedium of long arduous sea duty in an often hostile environment.

Simply put, it was called the 6 P’s; it goes like this: Proper Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance. It is easy to remember, and one can expound upon each of the six steps. One should always strive to incorporate proper prior planning in all projects – not just in the world of IT, but especially in the world of IT.

The reason for proper prior planning may not even be evident for years to come. As an example, when I was in consulting I did a lot of infrastructure migration projects. The networks I worked with that were well laid out, well thought out, and well implemented, i.e. they had proper prior planning, were relatively easy to migrate. In fact, we had a term for it—a forklift migration. The idea being that that the migration was going to be so easy, we could drive a forklift in there, pick up the components, and move them somewhere else.

The ones that were not well laid out, ended up being more of a hand cart type of migration, and involved hundreds of boring hours of cutting and pasting. I can tell you that hiring consultants to do cutting and pasting for hundreds of hours is not the best use of scarce finances. Clearly even a cursory use of the 6 P’s management technique would have paid amazing returns.