Setup for Success

Project start is the time when is most critical and single-handedly decide the fate of the project. That is the time when we are preparing ourselves for a journey, and how well prepared decides:

  • When we reach out destination – on time or late
  • In what condition we reach – as expected or all burnt up

I have done this activity several times in my career, and yet still there is one or the other thing that is left behind. Suddenly, the clients and project managers  want to see results. They want to see what is being built and how things are coming up. Suddenly, all the housekeeping tasks become nuisance and nothing is getting accomplished unless there is something to be seen. So, what goes wrong? Three Things

Planning

It is mandatory to plan for things up ahead. We may not be navigating the ship, but are responsible in many ways that everything that is required for the trip is on board. If the ship is not built to stand the storms, it will crumble; sooner or later. All that is required to be done should be a part of the plan. Once other can visualize the value that the activities will bring, is becomes very easy to negotiate and progress. It becomes simple to justify the load. Once it in the plan, then no body is worried because it is accounted for.

Execution

No matter what project you are on, things are bound to go bad. On any journey, there are bound to be some bumps. How much they affect your ship or its passengers is again decided how well you are prepared. Prepared not just with the tools, but also with the expertise to execute measures. You will seldom have a A-team, and you need to know who performs how and what scenario. Planning will take you so far. If you do not know how to utilize the resources available to you at that time, you are as good as dead meat. It is panic that causes most troubles. You have to find ways to be calm especially when there are fires all around you.

Expectations

Any scenario, we fail to set and manage expectations – our family, friends, shop keepers, be it anyone. However, some (most of those) do not come back to haunt us. We can bail out easily with minimal impact. All of it happens when we start to assume. And, it happens because we think we have understand what the other person is trying to convey. And, the longer we linger the process of validating our assumption, the bigger impact it has on the outcome. We should have only one assumption – “There are no assumptions”.

As an Architect, there are certain things I believe have to do. There are several books and handbooks that talk about all that stuff. However, many don’t have access to them or they have so many things that this topic gets lost somewhere. In my follow-up post, I will publish the activities, with descriptions and their possible exit criterion that all architects should be aware off.

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