The World: Changed

I’ve said it before. But I feel that I need to repeat it:

You can change the world. And if you use good project management techniques, you will get there faster.

I’m not preaching to people who are project managers. You already know that proper project management makes you more effective at delivering results on time. I’m talking to all of you who have a project to do in your everyday work.

Who Needs to Hear This?

When the boss walks up to your desk and says, “I have a project for you to work on.” When a call comes from the central office, and someone says, “We would like you to be on a project group.” When you are a freelancer working for a client, when you are starting to look for a new job, if this ever happens to you, you need to hear more about project management.

Your goal isn’t to become a professional project manager; there are other sites for that. Your goal is to finish the project well and to move onto the next thing (which is probably a project.)

What You Need To Hear

If you are disciplined in your project management approach, you will find that:

  • You finish your projects on time.
  • You deliver the right thing
  • People are happier (because you delivered the right thing on time)
  • You know what impact your work makes
  • You can learn from your past projects and improve into the future.

What Do You Need To Do

To start, think about three simple steps:

  1. Define the project. Who does what? Who is paying for it? Who gets fired if it doesn’t work? (This is called the project charter.)
  2. Pay attention to your project. No matter how many professionals are involved, you are the traffic controller who ensures that everyone is working towards the same mission. If you don’t direct people and watch what they are doing, eventually they will lose track of where they are going. (This is called monitoring and controlling a project.)
  3. Define what you are measuring and measure it. Your project is only successful if there is a positive impact. If there is a positive impact, you must be able to measure this. Is there more chocolate in the world? Measure pounds of chocolate. Is human trafficking reduced? Measure the number of people rescued. If you don’t have something to measure, you don’t know for sure that you are making an impact. (This can be called data analytics if you want. )

Change the World

Define your project, pay attention to execution, and measure the results. Any less attention to the project is just hoping for success without a plan.