Showing posts with label project plan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label project plan. Show all posts

Monday, April 30, 2018

Don't Lose Sight of the Dream

One of the greatest things about the profession of project management is that we get to make dreams come true.  You can attend one of my sessions or the Free Webinar to hear the elevator speech that every project manager MUST know!  As I was participating in a mastermind session this weekend, I heard Paul Martinelli speaking into many entrepreneurs saying, "Many people have a dream, create a plan, and then fall in love with the plan."  I really started to ponder that in terms of project management.  How many times have you seen that happen?  

A project gets created to accomplish something.  We get together and create a plan.  Then every meeting from there forward begins to discuss the plan.  We fall in love with the PLAN!  It is all about status of the plan, completion of the tasks on the plan, and the percent complete of the plan!  Many times, the project (or dream) morphs to the constraint of the arbitrary notion of the plan.  Once the plan has been created, we have limited ourselves to a date or a budget.  However, it is the dream that is driving the results, not the plan! 

When we modify our dream, that becomes difficult because we have to adjust the plan, budget, document the scope change, etc.  It becomes a rigid process that diminishes the value of the dream itself!  Now don't get me wrong, controls are great and necessary.  What I am talking about here is for you to sit back for a moment and think through your last 5 to 10 projects.  Once the project was presented and a plan was created, did we fall in love with the plan or fall in love with the dream?

This is one of the greatest examples of displaying one of my core concepts that changed the way that I saw projects forever.  When Rob Thomsett explained that projects fail because of context, not content, it created a fresh perspective of what activities are creating value and enhancing the dream, and which activities are setup just to avoid failure or to affix blame.  That perspective shift is one of the greatest shifts a project manager can embrace.  Understanding that enabling the value of dreams far outweighs the strict adherence to our first thought or first plan.  It is being open enough to be always considering alternatives and having the flexibility to work within the constraints where progress and success can be found.

For example, we were working with a client in an industry that was new to us.  They hired us to create a specific system.  At the first release, it was clear that the system was what they asked for, however, not what was going to be what they needed.  We recognized this quickly and opened up a design and idea session with the key stakeholders.  We tested a few ideas and created mock-ups and wireframe designs with all ideas being considered.  The energy in the room was contagious.  We landed on a new design and after re-scoping the project realized that we would still be able to deliver by the date requested with only a slight modification to budget.  The result of the collaboration was a patented algorithm that revolutionized an industry.  One that would have not have been found by that team had we stuck to the plan.

This isn't a calling to throw out all plans.  Plans and controls are necessary.  The call is to not be so attached to a plan that we lose sight of the dream.  We do not want to become so attached that if the plan is failing, we attribute it to the failure of the dream!  

No Day But Today,