November 11


How We Manage Our Projects

By Mike Spack

November 11, 2014

I’ve tried several different methods for managing projects over my 18 year career and have looked into dozens of other methods.  I’m intrigued by online project management apps like Base Camp and Fog Bugz.  I’m also intrigued by the Scrum Method of project management.

But I’m a minimalist at heart and here’s the system we use to keep organized:

  • Write projects with deadlines on dry erase boards that everyone can see.  Erase project when done.

I realize bigger projects need more management, but our projects typically last three to four weeks.  We also push back on deadlines that are too aggressive.  So far, we haven’t missed a deadline and staff meetings take about one beer.

Here are photos of our boards:

photo 1


photo 2

Over on the side of the world, we process our orders everyday.  That keeps them easy to manage.  Our inventory ordering system is also pretty straightforward:  We have a re-order quantity on every bin and we reorder when we get down to that level.

My project management philosophy:  Use the most basic system possible to get things done.

  • Phew. My heart skipped a beat when you wrote that you were “intrigued” by project management apps. I had visions of the addition of over-kill process and tracking slowly miring your entire shop.

    Then I read the rest of your post. You have implemented the correct solution for your size and needs. Nicely done.

    p.s. I love this blog and I don’t even have a driver’s license.

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    Mike Spack

    My mission is to help traffic engineers, transportation planners, and other transportation professionals improve our world.

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