Project Management Institute

Minute by minute


5:45 A.M.

Arrive at work.

A morning workout in the office fitness center allows me to think about the day's meetings and the things I need to do:

  • Customer representatives do not want to test during the upcoming major migration event. Need to convince them otherwise.
  • Call the head of U.S. support instead of sending an e-mail to notify our Help Desk in Ireland of a possible increase in call volume from this weekend's milestone.

6:45 A.M.

Showered and dressed, back at my desk.

List ideas from the workout to track them.

Check meeting schedule and reporting requirements.

Begin to wade through e-mails.

7:35 A.M.

Unscheduled visit.

The electrician who will finish the new circuits for the migration visits. His usual technical contact is not in, and I can't reach the technician on his cell, so we pull the schematics to find the exact location of new circuits. Although we both feel we have the answer, we discuss prep work he can perform until I confirm.

8:30 A.M.

Begin work on the biweekly executive status report due today.

Not having the users’ sign-off on the upgrade and migration potentially could be a showstopper, so before I can send out the status report, I must resolve that question.

8:40 A.M.

Resolve the circuit question.

The technician and I call the electrician. Continue working on the executive status report.


9 A.M.

Instead of a regular follow-up meeting that details project progress, prepare to host the steering committee.

Need to discuss the project progress with the IT manager, who has requested a major project change. As on many other days, I am first to the workplace and have coffee.

Review my e-mail and prepare the templates that I will fill out today.

9:30 A.M.

Interview team members individually during a team meeting.

When the project team arrives, I review last week's activities and scheduled activities for the current week. The team shares information, so each one understands the other's activities and problems.

10:30 A.M.

Interact with the customer.

Need a deadline for requested information, which gives me the excuse to discuss issues with customer representatives. Thanks to this conversation, I am aware of a development area concern about the requested change, which will result in much more work before the project ends. Keep this in mind for tonight.

12 P.M.

Respond to a customer request to reschedule aspects of the project.

Receive an answer from the customer regarding the rescheduled activities. I feel confident everybody is committed to success.


7 A.M.

Arrive at the office and have coffee.

Review the day's schedule for site work activities, including any issues. Examine my personal task list for urgent items and plan key items for the day, including a site meeting and key personnel contacts to be made. Check my e-mail.

7:30 A.M.

Check my voice mail.

Call a key consultant, who will be out for two weeks, to talk about the LNG tank overview/code, but he's not available.


8 A.M.

Field a call from our Gas Control center.

Discuss a bill received from a key customer for additional charges incurred during the completed C1 compression project.

8:30 A.M.

Drive to the LNG plant site.

9 A.M.

Site meeting.

Discuss with plant personnel technical considerations and next steps for our inspection plans. We decide on a scope change and document responsibilites.

Assess code implications and planned tank investigation work with the quality assurance/quality control (QA/QC) consultant. We discuss invoices received from the main contractor (engineering, construction and sub-contractors) and the inert gas supplier.

Meet QA/QC inspector to review BC Gas sub-contractors invoices and site work progress per schedule.

11 A.M.

Call the main contractor project manager.

Follow up with an e-mail to confirm project office responsibilities, materials orders, design changes, change orders, procedures and safety issues.

11:15 A.M.

Return drive to corporate office.

9 A.M.

Conference call to discuss a major customer application upgrade.

The upgrade conflicts with one of our migration events or with the planned code upgrade and associated planned outage for one of the subprojects.

We do not want them to implement at the same time we are moving servers. The customer agrees to a change its implementation date for the application development team to another weekend.

10:05 A.M.

Walk through the data center expansion area.

This visit uncovers issues that might not yet have surfaced formally. Some data cabling work is being done in the Data Center and I briefly speak with a contractor.

Speak with the Network Operations Center manager about this weekend's migration event.

Stop by my boss's office to discuss my concern over the business customer's unavailability for user testing and sign-off. He has not received a response.

10:35 A.M.

Back at my desk.

Work on the biweekly executive status report. Call a subproject manager for an update on the budget and expenses. Track the invoices to ensure no surprises.


10:58 A.M.

Weekly conference call with the customer.

This large conference call involves more than 20 business and technical staff. The business customers are updated on the overall project and ask questions.

After each meeting, detailed minutes with follow-up items and specific assignments are distributed. The call goes well, however, the business customer who wants to forgo user testing is absent and no one else has an update.

12:05 P.M.

Lunch at my desk.

Catch up on my e-mail. New quotes arrive higher than our original estimates. Must perform a checkpoint soon to confirm that I am still comfortably within budget.

12:35 P.M.

Tie up loose ends.

Print spreadsheets for my 1 p.m. meeting and review some additional material.

Work on the executive status report in between answering phone calls and responding to e-mail.

1:30 P.M.

Document those ideas.

Compose the presentation, trying to make it interesting, useful, complete and as attractive as possible.


2 P.M.


This lunchtime is typical in Spain, although it's a bit late throughout Europe.


4 P.M.

After lunch, I prepare some printouts that I need for the meeting.

Make some final checks and changes. Start to prepare the meeting agenda. I like to review potential requests, concerns and questions, as well as to analyze potential answers and consequences.

Meet my boss to go to the meeting.

11:45 A.M.

Receive two voice-mails.

The community-relations liaison for the C2 project wants to discuss a letter to stakeholders. The inert gas supplier wants to flesh out timing for our next required delivery at the LNG plant site.


12:15 P.M.

Call the C1 project engineer.

Resolve problems between the new pipeline and the compressor stations and determine ownership of issues. Discuss problems and solutions with metering at several sites.

12:45 P.M.

Lunch at my desk.

I sort out e-mail requiring immediate attention.

1:30 P.M.

Call the engineering/construction project manager about the schedule.

Confirm an 11:00 a.m. teleconference.

2 P.M.

Talk with a government regulator, the boilers inspector.

Address his concerns on the C1 project pressure vessels and forward him to our company operations personnel.

2:30 P.M.

Telephone call from the LNG plant.

Commit to follow-up and replace inspection equipment that is not working as it should.

Phone the QA/QC consultant to sort out the needed equipment and required operator qualifications. I direct him to get the equipment from an Oklahoma consultant, flying it in to minimize delays.

2:45 P.M.

2:45 p.m. Discuss upcoming projects with a specialty contractor (soils vibration compaction).

2:50 P.M.

Call the operations manager about the boiler inspector.

Prepare him for the contact and discuss deficiencies at the new compressor station site.

1 P.M.

Meet with two key engineers.

We find several discrepancies on the vendor's invoices that will require follow-up.

1:50 P.M.

Because the meeting is running long, step out to reschedule my 2 p.m.

2:30 P.M.

Go directly to my next meeting, but no one is there.

2:45 P.M.

Review weekend schedule.

Reschedule my 2:30 p.m. My 3 p.m. is cancelled.

An e-mail containing a minute-by-minute schedule confirms what will happen this weekend. I also receive the call list for all the individuals who will be involved in this week's events. Everything is on track.

3:15 P.M.

Work on the executive status report.

A production problem pulls me away, and by the time I return, it's 15 minutes before my 4 p.m. meeting regarding another function/service. For a project liaison role with one of our major business lines, I scan past e-mails and get up-to-speed on outstanding issues.

4 P.M.

Attend the project liaison meeting.


5 P.M.

Stay after the meeting to talk with my boss.

Decide to wait until tomorrow to escalate the customer testing issue.

5:30 P.M.

Back at my desk.

Clear e-mail and voice mail. Check the schedule and review major milestones.

Visit our telecom manager, who also wants further customer validation.

Copy my e-mail to my laptop and shut down. The executive status report will wait until I have spare time.

5 P.M.

Lead the steering committee meeting.

Engage the IT manager and other customer stakeholders with questions that require their participation. Meetings after lunch are especially hard. The meeting is more formal than I found in other customers, so I pay a lot of attention to the attitude of the IT manager.

One of the customer team members has big concerns about the discussed changes, but I knew these concerns in advance, so I am prepared.


6:30 P.M.

Get the commitment we need to implement the agreed changes from the customer.

After the meeting, the customer project manager and IT manager feel confident, I am happy with the results, and my boss is satisfied with the outcome.


8 P.M.

My boss and I review the meeting, take notes and assign responsibilities for actions.

Leave for home.

3 P.M.

Meet with community relations manager.

Discuss specific stakeholder concerns at a C2 project proposed site. Draft an interim response to the stakeholders.

3:30 P.M.

Call the LNG consultant.

Review the conclusions of a previous study and the impact of new site findings. Agree to meet 5 June at the plant to address issues.


4 P.M.

Receive a call from a C1 project supplier whose blow-down silencers did not meet sound level specifications.

Discuss the purchase order agreement, specifications and terms and conditions. The broker agrees to fax the manufacturer's response on repair/replace scenarios.

4:15 P.M.

Give my boss a quick status overview.

4:30 P.M.

Look over invoices for approval.

Sort the invoices as either signed/approved as is, more information needed or confirmation from project personnel required.

Follow up on e-mail, and look ahead at schedule and tasks. Note major upcoming issues, potential problems and key points for tomorrow.

5 P.M.

Head home.

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