by Denise Gifford
One of the most common mistakes a new project manager can make is to request more information than is needed to run the project.
Information is an important resource, but it is not free. Completing forms and filing reports cost the team by:
• Taking time for filling out the forms, recording the information, analyzing it and reporting it
• Diverting attention away from the objectives of the project
• Potentially damaging team morale through an overemphasis on administrative tasks
• Diminishing the value of useful information by swamping the system with irrelevant information
The key to successful information collection is to identify:
• What decisions require information?
• What minimal amount of information is necessary to make that decision?
• When is that information required, and by whom?
Focusing on decision requirements will help to avoid wasting project resources through unnecessary data collection.
The important rule to remember is:
Think about how you are going to use the information before you ask for it.