Project Managers are organized in everything they do, right? Well, I can say that I’m not.
And when I was attempting to change a tire on our full-sized 12 passenger van… I learned that I’m even less organized than I thought. My little kids were helping… so at least that aspect was fun.
The worst part? Everything else. I hate redoing work more than just about anything else. And I’ve been an application developer and a project manager long enough to know that rework usually comes from poor or incomplete planning/communication. I try to avoid both, but in the case of my flat tire, I failed.
What should have taken me 30+ minutes with some advanced oversight and planning, took me about four hours and a lot of unnecessary pain, sweat, and aggravation.
- I didn’t have the right jack (rework).
- I didn’t prop the jack that I did have properly mersin escort
in order to make sure that the van would be far enough off the ground to actually get the flat tire off and the spare on (rework).
- I once again didn’t have the second jack propped far enough off the ground to get the tires off and on (rework).
- I didn’t have all the tools set out and available prior to starting the whole job (extra work due to starting before I was really ready).
If I’d had my project manager hat on, I would have gone about it all differently. I was stubborn … and I was not planning wisely or planning at all.
The end result? Far too much rework and extra effort … and when you are talking about jacking a big 12-passenger van with a raised roof up and down three times, that’s too much rework. And later I realized that my very nice retired neighbor who rebuilds cars in his custom garage on his lot probably has a big hydraulic jack. Then I really understood how poorly I planned this out.
The moral to my story is this… if we don’t pre-plan well enough, we can end up wasting:
- Our own time
- Our project team members’ time
- Our customer’s time
And all of that equals wasted money.
Thankfully, in my flat tire project, I didn’t end up having to spend more physical money. But if you account for how much my own time is worth, then I lost money. But if that had been a project I had sourced out with four $150/hour resources working on it – even the extra, say, three hours would have resulted in $150/hour x 3 hours x 4 project team members = $1,800 of extra time/dollars and that’s just one task. If you end up being a poor planner throughout a project you can see where a couple thousand dollars can easily become $100,000 and a failed project … fast.
Summary / Call for Input
Plan, plan, plan and plan some more.
I knew going into my project that I needed to plan. I let other things get in the way of that … for me this time it was the fun of getting my little ones involved and starting before planning.
Sometimes this happens when we let senior management push us into starting a project before we’ve properly planned for it so they can show progress and results. Sometimes it’s a project client pushing us to skip some planning and get started in the name of saving money.
It doesn’t work that way 9 times out 10 though, does it? Unless everything happens flawlessly, poor planning will usually end up costing us in the long run.
Readers, can you relive an incident – personal or professional – where poor planning or a lack of planning cost you time and money … and frustration? Please share and discuss.