Everything is a project

One school of thought we have followed in recent years is that in business (and possibly in life) everything we do is a project.

This means we should treat things we do and want to do as projects because it helps us do them better.

Formally speaking, a project has a defined scope (what are we doing, the deliverables) and defined budget (how much money) and it usually follows that it has a planned duration.

More importantly, good projects have a clear mission or set of goals. e.g. put a human on the moon

To do this you need to consider the scope creep issues, e.g. does the goal include returning that person safely to earth? It means a lot to the project stakeholders that a decision is made and communicated clearly and in a timely manner!

These things apply just as much to building an office block as they do to raising a child, the process of thinking is the item we are trying to illustrate.

Of course the reality in both is that many items along the way in your ‘project’ are not in your control and you need to find ways to ‘let go’ or to ‘influence’.

Let’s not take the parent and project manager analogy too far but the process of thinking this way gives benefits.

You start making decisions on what is in scope and what isn’t. I can afford a building ten levels high, or, I can afford a world class college education for my child. If what you want doesn’t fit with the resources, time, budget or other constraints then you have to re-evaluate the scope or how you are going to ‘deliver’ it.

The value of treating everything as a project is not being a control freak micro-manager that tracks everything until those around you are tired of the tedious approach.

The value of treating everything as a project is in the thinking that goes into it, you evaluate the information as it comes in. Can I fit that in to my budget or timeline, is that piece of scope important to the overall mission or goals. e.g. good foundations for the building or a good education for my child.