“Project Climate” is our concise description of the project that as of today we have about 10 years to complete, to keep the warming of our world below 1.5 degrees C by 2030. While PM principles can be applied to local-scale projects, the scope of this article is to address the application of these principles at planetary scale. Yes, this will require a significant team and the project plan diagram will certainly be huge. However, project management principles remain the known way to project success, regardless of the size of the project. We put people on the Moon in 10 years using these principles; it is time we used PM principles to solve the climate problem on Earth.
We can apply PM principles to Project Climate as follows. Future posts will elaborate on each of these steps.
1. Develop Scheduling Diagrams
There are two visuals that will guide us throughout the project development stage. The work breakdown structure (WBS) is the first step in outlining what that project is going to look like. Along with this first step is a Responsibility Activity Matrix (RAM) which is a table that identifies key roles with the required skills.
2. Identify the Critical Path
The second step is determining the order of precedence of the WBS work packages so we can make a diagram (the Activity-on-Node (AON) diagram) and begin to understand which activities are critical to the schedule (the critical path).
3. Identify Team Members
The third step is identifying actual people to fill those roles identified back in the first step, make sure they know their activities, and make sure they know their schedule. Typically team members are identified earlier in the RAM, but this project cannot rely on particular team members to always be able or willing to do their assigned tasks.
4. Keep the Project Rolling
The last step is providing a single point of accountability (SPA) that can make sure the project continues moving, even if team members change or problems are encountered.