Categorized | Management

The Project War Room And Why You Should Have One

Taking on a project is akin to going into battle. It takes planning, strategizing, mapping territories and action plans and finally going into the trenches and executing the battle plan. If you’ve seen war movies, you’ve probably seen all those scenes where a group of generals are gathered around a table with maps all around, little pins and tiny action figures being moved around on a map on a table.

That’s a war room.

The War-Room. Not Just For The Military
In this day and age, wars haven’t been made extinct (unfortunately) but these days, you don’t really need to be in the military to have a war room. War rooms are often found in the corporate setting, in high-powered meetings, discussing game plans and strategies to improve business. War rooms are a great idea even for mid-management, however, particularly when managing projects.

Having a meeting room dedicated for the specific purposes for keeping the people and materials relevant in the completion of a project is the main definition of a war room. This gives people a go-to place for scheduled and impromptu meetings, posting checklists, important notices, checking references, storage of materials and the like.

Here are just some of the reasons why project war rooms can be a good idea for project managers and their teams.

Command Central
The first and topmost advantage of having a war room, of course, is the centralization. In a war room, everything that is needed is there– budgets, goals, battle cries, checklists, to-do lists, assignment sheets, strategy maps, mind-maps, and perhaps real maps, all taped on the wall (or boards) in the room as well as of course, the team.

The war room, if effective, is where you will most likely have any number of people working on the project going in and out at any moment, holding meetings, discussing the development of the plan and what may be needed to successfully complete the project. This requires, of course that the war room be located in a central location close to where all involved are working, which also enhances and facilitates communication within the team– something that is important if members are from different departments.

The Battlefield At A Glance
The war room is where the project outline, task lists and assignment lists as well as strategies are posted. Here, people cross out tasks as they are done effectively giving everyone involved an idea of the degree of completion of the project. Perhaps even more important, it shows management that things are being done, and the level at which the project is in.

Especially in a project that entails participation from multiple departments, the project war room enables everyone involved to see what the others are up to. In a project where output are design or theory-based, a war room helps make the project specifics more concrete and visible.

Confidentiality and Security
Centralization of meetings and documents naturally helps increase the security of a project. Important documents are harder to lose and communications less easy to get out, minimizing the chances of leaks and spillage of crucial information to competition.

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