Manage your next project without ruining your team (or your marriage)

by | Mar 27, 2017 | Leadership, People & Politics, Project Management | 0 comments

If you had
One shot
Or one opportunity
To seize everything you ever wanted
In one moment
Would you capture it
Or just let it slip? – Eminem

3:33 AM Friday. My wife’s gonna kill me if the kids’ lunches aren’t made for their field trips. Again. But the conference is in a week and if the new site’s not launched and perfect… OWWW… there goes my acid reflux… the world’s watching and this is my one shot to make it happen. I can’t go back into corporate hell. I’ve got a great idea and a plan and people in place. This has to work. It’s not too much to ask my team to be on a con call Saturday. It’s crucial to the project.

2:00 PM Saturday. Crap. Only a few team members showed up on the call. Where were my consultants? At least the programmer showed up. And the graphic design person (wait – why did I ask her on this call?). My overseas Ops Director sounded awesome, but I kinda wish I’d made the effort to get to know her these past few months before asking her to be on a business call on a Saturday. From another time zone. I think everyone on the call knows what needs to happen. It has to happen. They’ve got to make it happen.

5:00 PM. Two days before the conference. I can’t believe all the stuff I missed about our site. Advertisers, content providers, customers, opt-ins – I didn’t even realize how many moving parts there are! WHY didn’t I bring the Ops Director into the planning from the beginning? I’m not even sure how to make some of the next decisions about the site based on the context she’s giving me. That’s gonna have to wait ’til after the conference. Let me grab something for my headache.

10:00 AM Monday after the conference. That was incredible- we made it! Potential sponsors loved us and loved the site. I’m so happy. The team came through in a ridiculously short amount of time. We’re so lucky we pulled this off. Now we need to fix everything so it actually functions for our current customers again. I’ll start reaching out to everyone.

4:30 PM Monday after the conference. That’s strange – nobody has responded to my meeting request that I sent hours ago. I went around the office, excited to talk with the team and I sensed a bit of the “cold shoulder.” Am I reading things wrong? I thought everyone would be just as jazzed as I am. Wait. What’s this? HOW can the web developer’s bill be 4 times more than I’d anticipated?!

Is this how your projects tend to go? Stress-inducing, adrenaline-filled, usually-work-out-in-the-end, but leave a wake of destruction behind? Still operating your small business the way you were forced to in your previous corporate role? You know it doesn’t have to be this chaotic, right?

Take the first step today towards managing your business like a (better) boss by Taking the Chaos Quiz.

You have the choice to do it better – for you, your family, your business, and for everyone on the team. In the scenario above, our business owner got lucky. He (or she) had a team of people willing to go the extra mile and work with breakdowns in communication – but how much longer before the people on the team aren’t willing to go through all that chaos on the next (or the next) project – or get burnt out and start making mistakes? Is your business worth that risk?

We’ve asked clients around the world, “What makes your projects so challenging?” The response has been amazingly consistent across locations and professions:

  • Lack of clear requirements
  • Being pushed to start, regardless
  • Arbitrary end date
  • Arbitrary budget
  • Dictated resource pool comprising too few resources of adequate skill
  • Multitasking

Sound familiar?

If you’ve been haphazardly managing projects… or making a mess of them… or if you’re consistently shaking your Magic 8 Ball to try to figure out how things will turn out… or if you’re really pissing off your team members with your inconsistency… that means you can do better. You can get everyone on the same page with the requirements, a sane timeline, a real budget. And you can make sure you have the right people assigned to the right tasks. We’re not saying it’s going to happen overnight. But once you have the right tools, you can pull off the project in the end, much like our business owner did – but you can do it in a way that sets you up for success every time, rather than risking everything. It won’t be easy, but eventually your projects will be simple.

Take the Chaos Quiz to begin finding your path out of chaos and into simplicity while managing your business. You’ll get a temperature read on how you’re doing currently, along with a report on where and how you should be focusing your time in order to grow your business, keep your team happy, and boost your profits.