Frank Patrick has been relatively quiet lately, but he's got an interesting post about managing Between the Boxes in project (and process) management.
Goethe says that the meaning is "between the lines." In project and process management, at least we have the arrows in our network diagrams or process maps to help make those connections, but it's still in the purview of those involved to be aware of the white space and the need to understand more of what's between them - the missing arrows.
Project managers should be responsible for all the white space between well-defined activities in a project plan, says Frank Patrick. The hand-offs are where fumbles and missteps are most likely to happen.
When working heavily in project environments, I discovered this same phenomenon. We were very good at listing all the activities that needed to be accomplished. And people could usually connect the dots for those activities that were in their area of responsibility. But it became increasingly difficult as those areas grew further apart. Discovery and development chemists usually understood what it took to hand off activities from one to the other. But chemistry to regulatory? That took the special knowledge of the few people who were living in the gap between those organizations.
I like Frank's claim that project managers should be the people responsible for understanding the hand-offs and making sure they are smooth.