You know–Murphy’s Law and the chance of certain occurrences’ adversely affecting the project [phrase memorized by numerous PM training certification classes]. Everyone identifies these in the planning of their project, right? Well, they should.
However, all too often some never revisit their risks and end up with horribly derailed projects. Risks are not look once, log and move on things. They live and change with your project and need to be re-evaluated to ensure that the contingency plans that were made are still relevant and provide the necessary contingency.
One of the most critical times is during change activities. In the blur of the hurry to integrate the change, don’t forget to re-access the risk and the contingency plan(s).
We have a family tradition of working on a very large jigsaw puzzle New Year’s Eve. The more challenging and large the puzzle, the better. Sometimes it gets finished that night, sometimes not. We have done round, odd-shaped, all one color, 3D, mystery puzzles, border-less, all the pieces shaped the same, and even turned them upside down (yes just the plain back side up.) My mother started the upside down thing when I was 5 because I went though puzzles so fast. It generally takes longer the second time around.
So, we have different approached for different kinds of puzzles. Sometimes its frame first, sometimes we sort by color (does not work with all the same color pieces-like the Red Menace round puzzle).
Which got me to thinking—how do you approach your projects? Are you a linear thinker or a chaotic thinker; or maybe something else? How is your team? Are the tasks you have to complete algorithmic or heuristic? Do you know, do you know the difference? Does your team?
Do you know how to spot the differences before they cause problems? Do you have a tool box to help you use these differences for the best benefit with the least friction? Can you build bridges to get over the obstacles you can’t get around or power through? How about shovels for digging trenches under?
Like working a jigsaw puzzle, every project must be worked in a fitting manner. There is no one size fits all. There are guidelines and frameworks, but in the end; each project and project team is unique and needs to be treated thusly.