The Importance of Planning

While I was in Italy for the PMI Leadership Institute Meeting, I took the advantage of sneaking away for a few days with dear friends for a four day motor cycle ride around Lago Maggioro. Having been born and raised in northern Europe, May for me resembles the month that finally the sun comes through after the dark winter months.

Even though the forecasts said that it would be raining most of the time, I was convinced since it was May the weather would be nice. Of course I was proven wrong and ended up having to borrow a rain suit from the motor cycle shop owner which really saved me since it rained three out of the four days. One of my friends had the same over optimistic look and also had to borrow a rain suit of one of the other riders who was better prepared.

After doing these trips for several years, we have found that we need to better plan. We are all project managers however still end up to be not as prepared as we should be. Somewhere along the ride someone is always running out of gas at the wrong time. We are always in need of duct tape to fix something. This time it was my leather pants (don’t ask).

The same is true for our projects. Especially if you have been a project manager for years, we end up to take things for granted and not plan as well as we should be since we know from experience in the end (in most cases) we are able to save the day. Our life and that of our teams would be a lot easier if we do spend more time planning and most importantly putting in deliverable quality controls.

My intent was to post this post yesterday evening, however, I ended spending the last 36 hours running all kind of queries in excel to fix a data load that needed to happen today to be able to go live this coming Monday. I am not a data expert or excel expert. I am detailed oriented and good in logical thinking so I can do the job. If I had planned better and not had been optimistic that quality work would be provided no matter what, I could have saved myself and my team from burning the midnight oil.

Never underestimate the importance of planning thoroughly…… although since change is given, flexibility is necessary.

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