Monday, July 1, 2013

How Important Is Planning ? Part 2

Often, there are many steps that need to be taken on a project.  But how do you know what comes first if you don't stop to think about the plan?  This is why there are people designated to be Project Managers.  You may have found yourself questioning why someone gets paid money to simply organize the order of things that needs to be done.  The thought "This person isn't even doing any work!" may have crossed your mind.  Allow me to defend this person for a moment, using a recent project that I probably should have actually hired someone to "manage."

Late last year my wife and I discussed, at great length, our plans to redo our landscaping this year.  The list of 4-5 projects we wanted to complete by the end of summer continued to expand with every discussion.  I soon realized that I needed to outline these various "major" projects so that I would not forget them.  Upon writing them down, I came to the further realization that I needed to organize these projects because there are stages of progression and I would need to follow a certain order ... unless I wanted to move rocks and dirt multiple times.  Only those who have never moved rocks or dirt could find this unimportant!

Ultimately, the list of about 8 "major" projects ballooned out to about 75-100 tasks, ranging from 2-10 hours of work each.  Sadly, that list (and those estimated times to complete them) has expanded further as each "major" project nears completion.  But, in defense of project management, the hours invested in outlining the initial plan have certainly saved literally weeks of work.
Planning has also allowed me to accept that our backyard will be a next year project (barring some minor miracle in the front yard in the coming 4-6 weeks).  For those who know me, this could have been a devastating blow to my psyche, but planning allowed me to take it in stride.

Song Of The Day:    
So the song that came to mind is "Your Move" because of the chess theme where you need to be thinking a few moves ahead to win.  There is a need for strategy when managing a large project and if you're not careful you could literally paint yourself into a corner.
The version above is by the great band Yes, but The Duke's Men of Yale recently did an a capella version of the song that I like much more.  Sadly, it is not on youtube (yet).  I plan to remedy that travesty once these yard projects are done.


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