A project is something with a definite beginning, middle, and end with a common goal of achievement. Whether the goal is to increase sales by trying a new marketing technique or working to get a degree to get into a particular field, we all use project management in our lives.
Project management in its simplest form is organizing your thoughts and ideas into a solution that can help you achieve your desired goal. This concept, however, can be caught up in a haze of spreadsheets, unfinished portfolios, and uncoordinated marketing schemes, begging the question: how can we avoid being caught up in this chaos? The answer is as simple as the original concept…
In order to be successful in a PM task, we must look at any project the way that a college student tackles getting their desired degree.
College Life Begins
It all starts at orientation. Students are anxious and excited to begin their new journey, yet overwhelmed with clubs, intramural sports, and other academics calling their name, all looking for one thing: their time. Students made the decision to come to college to earn a degree, yet on orientation day, their degree seems to be the last thing on their mind.
Companies feel the same way when they first begin a project. They start with a goal, and rapidly it becomes marred by factors such as cost of the project and the time it requires, and, just like the college student, that simple goal can become an afterthought for businesses.
Getting over the Hump
According to the U.S News and Report for Education, “As many as 1 in 3 first-year students won’t make it back for sophomore year.” For most students, getting through their freshman year can be the biggest hill that they climb on the way to their degree. Why is freshman year so difficult? The cost of college, course load, and disorganization leads to more freshmen calling it quits and moving back home.
When businesses begin a new endeavor, they too struggle to get their projects out of the woods. The reasons mirror the same struggles that 18-year-old freshmen go through. Is this simply human nature? Do humans inherently struggle to adopt new ideas?
Adoption is key…
In order to get your project out of an internal meeting and into the forefront of your project management scheme, you must completely adopt whatever the common goal is that you’re trying to reach through your project. The key factors into making your project stick are…
- It must be a workable project; everyone must understand what the end goal is.
- Roles of individuals need to be established AND kept throughout the entire project.
- Understand that there will be times in which the easier path will be to quit the project… don’t!
- Set short-term goals to make the ultimate task seem smaller.
No matter how daunting your task at hand may seem, there are always ways to make your project manageable and successful. If you embody the mind of the college freshman and believe in your cause, you can have success in any endeavor on which you embark.