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What is an Object?

Updated: Jul 13, 2022

Short Answer: It is the simple solution to complex Project Management (PM) methodologies. It is the basis for Object Oriented Management, which is the remedy to the Top three Project management pains. Let me explain:


Imagine You haven’t managed a Project in years, At least not a successful one. But you want this Project to be a hit, So You type into google: ‘most successful project management method.’ Google brings back a list of sponsored ads, along with a plethora of methods that you could use. You feel overwhelmed by the results, but you choose one link to Click. When it loads, it reminds you that:



“The process required to fully assess, document, and finally select the right methodologies for each project is much more detailed, time-consuming and complex initially, but worth it in the end (assuming the most appropriate PMMs have been selected).” 1



No pressure Now you are wondering, Am I the ‘most appropriate Project Manager(PMM)?’












Have you ever felt overwhelmed with how to start managing your project? Maybe you are familiar with buzzwords such as Agile and hybrid, but do not necessarily know which of these you should dedicate time to learning. What if I told you could run a successful project, save time, money and heartache without learning anything complex? Would you believe me? Believe it or not, There is a simple way to manage Projects that can be used by any Project manager, whether they are 'appropriate' or not. All you need to run a successful project is right in front of you.

What am I saying? I am saying that if you want to run a successful project, you only need to look within your project.


When you look within, you will find that your Project is made up of objects. Objects include :


Clients,

Requirements,

Computers,

Tasks,

Meetings

Timelines e.t c.


This 'concept' of Objects dates back to the '70s when Object Oriented Programming(OOP) was introduced to the software world. OOP changed the way that developers design software systems. "OOP allowed for even more complex programs to appear and made it easier for software teams to build, update and maintain these programs."


Even Steve Jobs said:










Over the years, the success of OOP has led some* to propose a need for Object-Oriented Organizations. At Inteloom, we feel this need by applying Object Oriented thinking to Project Management. As its name suggests, Object-Oriented Management is all about Objects. It involves looking at your Project as a collection of Objects interacting with each other. So, what is an Object? An Object is many things to many people. To Grady Booch, one of the leading proponents of Object-Oriented thinking, an object is "something you can do things to." To some**, "A life without objects is ... greater misery than death!" Though we are not quite as dramatic, we are obsessed with objects. At Inteloom, we define an Object as anything that can be defined and needs to be managed. Let's break it down, shall we? 1. It can be defined:

" If it has a name and certain characteristics “2(think nouns) AND, 2. It needs to be managed:

"If it has certain actions that it can perform or be accomplished with it"(think verbs) THEN "Simply put, it is an Object." To fully appreciate, the power behind Objects, You need to understand how to use them to Manage Projects. In other articles, we explain how you too can use Objects to manage Projects. In case you haven't had time to take a look at them, Here is a brief overview: Object Oriented management involves three core steps:

1. Break down Project into Objects :


Object Examples include:


  • Divisions, teams

  • Invoices

  • Meetings

  • Discussion items

  • Physical Materials (ex. computers)

  • Processus, projects and tasks

  • Events

  • Web site, software

  • Money portfolios

  • Information librairies

  • Messages, emails

  • Pay, forms

  • Documents



2. Assign Three roles (called Agents) to each object: Think of it as a mini team of a Manager, Expert and Client. With the Manager responsible for the Object. As a PMM, this significantly reduces the pressure on You.


Agent: One who takes action.






ManagersWho is responsible for the object?








Experts Who has the ability to contribute to the object?









Client Who will be consuming the object?






3. Arrange Objects on what is called a Tree. Think of it as a mind map.








Objects tree








Definition: The objects tree is the structure that holds the objects together

  • Defines the relationship between objects

  • Groups related objects into branches

  • Branches grow, evolve and some die

How does Object Oriented Management lead to Project Success? Short Answer: An object is a remedy to three common project management pains. Can you guess the top three project management pain points? According to one source, the top three project management pains are The need for constant follow -up, Accuracy in estimates and Variations in Client requirements. Let me explain know how Object Oriented Management soothes each of these pain points and ultimately leads to project success: 1.The need for constant follow-up


"It is important for a project manager to be aware of how things are going in the project and its overall state. However, keeping up with each and every team member can be quite time-consuming." Solution: Object Oriented management addresses this in three ways:


1) The use of Agents(mini teams) that are accountable to objects means that as a PMM You do not need to chase each and every team member. The managers of each of the Objects are expected to keep you informed on the Object Status.


2) Objects are self-contained entities, which means that everything about the Object is stored in the Object. This includes any communication and updates. This eliminates the need to look for updates in multiple sources.


3) Objects are organized on a Tree that shows you a 'live' collection of your project; hence you are always aware of how things are going. 2. Accuracy in estimates

"This becomes difficult when project deadlines are way too tight. Estimates are simply a forecast of how much time is required to complete a given task. And, unless you’ve some magical powers to foresee the future, it’s hard to make an exact guess." Solution : Object Oriented projects follow an incremental and iterative process, as opposed to a Sequential one." It is sometimes caricatured as “analyze a little, design a little, implement a little, test a little.” 3 Repeat. This means that you are delaying major decisions until when they need to be taken. In Object Oriented Management, your focus is on managing Objects as opposed to timelines.

















Let's take an example: Say your project is to make dinner in an Object-Oriented way.


  • Start with a few basic objects (pots, pans, stove)

  • You start to put the Objects together (pot is on the stove).

  • You would grab some other objects (your ingredients) and add them to the pot.


As you cook, you will taste to decide what other objects to add. Since you are delaying major decisions and 'tasting' along the way, you don't have to get to the end of the project to deem it a success or failure. Not only are you saving time by working in small increments, but you are also saving money. Working in iterations means that you can visit any phase of the project when you need. In our example, you don't need to wait for the pot to warm up before you start preparing your ingredients. In other words, there are fewer dependencies. 3. Variations in Client Requirements "Quite commonly it happens that client requirements start changing as the project progresses. This creates another difficulty for the managers as they have to understand the new requirements and have to assign the relevant tasks to team members while the project is being implemented." Solution : Object Oriented management assigns a Client to each Object at the onset of the Project. The Client may be internal or external. Either way, there are always in the loop and can offer feedback to improve the project outcome. This 'Agent role' compliments the iterative

process of Object Oriented Projects


Need more information on Objects? Read our article on why we are obsessed with objects or Reach out to us *In this article on " the need for Object Oriented Organizations ", the author asks a question: " why build Object oriented organizations?"


"The one big reason is complexity management. We have not put a man on the moon using the abacus. We have upgraded our tools to reach further. Basically, each organization that deals in large numbers of either employees or “customers” can benefit from a networked Object Oriented organization approach." In another article, Finn Majilergaard proposes an " Object Oriented Organisation might be the solution we have been looking for to manage complex, flexible, multi-cultural, global organizations."


In yet another source, Mihai Dragan Proposes that “ We need a better system... we cannot handle the complexity of Globalized Organizations with Procedural top-down systems. Using An Object Oriented approach, Organizations become more effective, more productive and happier.” We can attest to this.


*Thomas Traherne, an English Poet and Spiritual writer wrote in his book “Centuries of meditations” that “a life without objects is a sensible meaningless, and that is greater misery than death itself.” Robert Wilbur, another poet, later wrote a poem titled “ a world without objects is a sensible emptiness. In it, “he warns about living in the imagination rather than experiencing the real world.” 4 He must have heard a thing or two about the difference between Procedural and object Oriented thinking.



 

1 https://www.cio.com.au/article/607662/how-choose-right-project-management-methodology/?fp=4&fpid=6

2 Roger Y.Lee, 2013. Software Engineering: A Hands-On Approach, Atlantis Press, Paris.Online ISBN 978-94-6239-006-5.

3 https://it.toolbox.com/blogs/craigborysowich/iteration-in-object-oriented-analysis-design-062508

4 http://college.cengage.com/english/heath/syllabuild/iguide/wilbur.html



Written by Jean-Sébastien Vachon






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