Do you ever come up with a great idea to innovate, to do something awesome and exciting we even have it all planned up in our head? Then you talk to the leadership about the project. You get the green light and start. It starts great then somewhere down the project you noticed that the 3-week project turned into 3 months. Then you find yourself asking “What happened?”

Well, we usually tackle a project the wrong way. We start working alone, then add consult or add someone else of an area involved, then you noticed that you have to consult with a second and a third person, suddenly the finance guy at the end of the project says. “To do this you have to do X for us to do Y.” Which means that you have to backtrack and redo the IT portion of it.

I see this happen too often. It is the wrong way of managing a project. It is an inverted Cone of Uncertainty (if such a thing exists). The correct way of doing it is to gather all the possible stakeholders in a room and explain the project. Tell them about the project and explain how the end results look like. Then and there you get it signed off. How exactly is going to happen might change in the middle of it, but that is not what they are agreeing on. They are agreeing on the end results under a budget, time, and methodology.

After that, you just follow the usual four steps to keep everyone informed and in line.

  1. Track Meeting Dates
  2. Take Notes
  3. Use Collaboration Tools
  4. Network and Share

Image by John Woo

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