A quote I really like is ‘Be stubborn about your goals, and flexible about your methods.’
As stubborn as we were, we missed our goal by 5 days. Were we not stubborn enough or did our flexibility let us down? That is for us to decide. But success is a product of failures and our failure to meet a recent internal goal has influenced this post.
The following management lessons can help in managing a project with greater efficiency –
Start With A Vision And Work With A Plan
Before putting pen to paper, begin with a vision. For example, if you are designing a product, envision it in fine details. Imagine its looks, its feel, its use, and even its colors.
Once the project leaders can clearly visualize the end product and agree upon it, a thorough plan should be prepared to break the vision into phases, tasks, and responsibilities.
This will involve separating big rocks from the small rocks and it will help in resource planning and creating milestones.
Decide The Decision-Making Process
I can bet that we are all guilty of having spent our precious time in meetings that we have walked out of without making any real decisions.
How are decisions taken in your group or organization? Is it through a diplomatic process where everyone involved gets to vote and the majority wins? Or does the decision ultimately rest in the hands of a leader or influencer?
It is best that the decision-making process is decided upon by a group before starting discussions on any project.
Repeat After Me: "Actionable And Deliverables"
Speaking of meetings – have you ever felt that they are a waste of time? They sure can be if you don’t walk out of a meeting with actionable and deliverables.
All too often, we get into a meeting room and rant about various topics on the agenda. After the meeting, people walk off with a deeper understanding of issues at hand and possible solutions.
However, if you do not summarize the meeting and break it down into actionable and deliverables, there is a high probability that you will find yourself in the same meeting room again and experience a déjà vu moment.
Share Your Progress Periodically
Project management pro’s ensure that everyone knows what is to be done and who is in charge of what. Everyone takes ownership of their responsibilities and boom, everyone delivers as expected. Right?
Let me remind you - we lost Atlantis (if it ever existed) a long time ago. Reality is, things often fall through the cracks. It is critical that progress reports are discussed periodically to ensure that the planned milestones are being achieved in a timely manner and no stone is left unturned.
Don’t Worry About Getting It Right, Get It Done
Geoffrey Fisher said – ‘When you aim for perfection, you discover it’s a moving target’. In the real world, it is less valuable to get it right than it is to get it done. Silicon Valley is known to prophecies the concept of a ‘minimum viable product’ and it works in many cases.
The viability of that concept can vary from project to project of course. I mean, don’t launch a car knowing that it runs but without being sure that all components are working properly. Otherwise, you’ll just end up having to go through a very expensive product recall like Ford, Honda, Toyota, and GM.
But in many cases, getting it done can be better than getting it right.