A Project Manager’s Perspective: When you can’t see where you’re going and how far have you come

by | Updated October 12, 2018 | Project Management

I recently had the privilege to take two weeks off and go hiking in the mountains of Northern Italy. It has been a passion of mine since childhood since my parents and grandparents also loved to go there.

Some of the hikes I go on by myself, but on some, I am going with a local guide and other hikers, especially when the terrain is unfamiliar or the hike technically more challenging.

On one of those hikes, I had an interesting experience. I grew increasingly frustrated. We had hiked for quite a long time already, steadily walking uphill and we simply could not see where we were going. Don’t get me wrong, it was still enjoyable, we were led by an experienced guide, it was a pleasant day and a nice group of people, but I did not see where we were going, supposedly to a hut (Refugio Fratelli Fonda Savio).

Hiking Project Management

Switchback after switchback and it somehow all looked the same. Beautiful but the same.

Then finally after what felt like an eternity there, we caught a glimpse of the hut we were headed to:

Hiking Project Management

Just a tiny spot at first, and still a ways away, but finally a goal, a destination. And at that point, the view back was also quite impressive. We could see just how far we had come by now, way down there in the valley where we left the car. It felt like quite an accomplishment.

Hiking Project Management

The frustration was gone. So what changed?

The landscape, natural beauty, the people, the experienced guide, none of that changed. What changed was the perspective! Seeing clearly where we were going, and where we were coming from, and thus we saw what we had achieved so far.

While I did not think an awful lot about work while I was on vacation (just being honest here) I could not help but wonder about the analogy to project management.

On long-running projects that require a team of people to stay engaged for a while, it is of crucial importance that we as Project Managers and Project Sponsors keep highlighting to all involved where we are going, and what we have accomplished to-date.

Whether that is in project team meetings, status reports, stand-ups, newsletters, etc. every opportunity we have needs to be used to highlight:

  • What is the ultimate goal or target
  • What is the next interims milestone or destination
  • How long or far until we get there
  • How far along is our current destination compared to the overall journey
  • How much have we already achieved

If frustration can grow for a lack of data points or perspective in a beautiful landscape like the above, it grows even faster in the petri dish of a “war room” or cubicle environment.

Communication does not always have to be polished and lengthy, it just needs to be meaningful. If I know that we have completed 60% of configuration or development, and are on track to start the testing phase on October 1, and the goal is a December go-live that replaces an unsupported legacy system: I know how much we have done, what is next and why we are doing it. Important reminders and meaningful to each contributing role on the project team.

And now back to the project journey you are on!

Related Posts

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Upcoming Events

march

03mar10:00 am10:30 amThe Modern Manufacturer - MRP vs. MPS – What, When and How

03mar2:00 pm2:30 pmLot Management Best Practices for Batch Manufacturers

10mar10:00 am10:30 amEnhancing the Customer Experience and Driving More Business with Dynamics 365 Customer Service

10mar2:00 pm2:30 pmThe Five Steps to Managing Sales Tax

11mar11:00 am12:00 pmConfab with Stoneridge - Livestream - Power Apps Component Framework Power Hour

17mar10:00 am10:30 amThe Modern Manufacturer: Pro Tips for your Finance Team

24mar10:00 am10:30 amUnlock the Potential of Digital Marketing with Dynamics 365 Marketing

25mar11:00 am12:00 pmConfab with Stoneridge - Livestream - The Four Keys to Choosing the Best ERP or CRM Solution

31mar10:00 am10:30 amThe Modern Manufacturer: Keys to Reporting Success

31mar01aprTraining Class: Financial Reporting W/Account Schedules for Dynamics 365 Business Central

april

31mar01aprTraining Class: Financial Reporting W/Account Schedules for Dynamics 365 Business Central

07apr10:00 am10:30 amBoost Seller Productivity and Close More Business with Dynamics 365 Sales

07apr2:00 pm2:30 pmEnsuring Quality for Batch Manufacturers

08apr11:00 am12:00 pmConfab with Stoneridge - Livestream - Jumping into the Deep End of the Data Lake

14apr10:00 am10:30 amThe Modern Manufacturer: Cost Accounting in D365

21apr12:00 pm1:00 pmGetting Started with Barcode Scanners and WMS Apps for Business Central

22apr11:00 am12:00 pmConfab with Stoneridge - Livestream - Moving from Manual to Automated with Strategic Automation Strategies

28apr10:00 am10:30 amThe Modern Manufacturer: Best Practices for Inventory Turn

28apr12:00 pm1:00 pmPower Up Microsoft Dynamics by Automating Budgeting, Dashboarding and Reporting

About Stoneridge
Stoneridge Software is a unique Microsoft Gold Partner, with emphasis on partner. With specialties in Microsoft Dynamics 365, Microsoft Dynamics AX, Microsoft Dynamics NAV, Microsoft Dynamics GP and Microsoft Dynamics CRM, we focus on attracting the most knowledgeable experts in the field to our team, and prioritize delivering stellar solutions with maximum impact for your business. At Stoneridge, we are deeply committed to your results. Each engagement is met with a dedicated team, ready to provide thorough, tailored, and expert service. Based in Minnesota, we intentionally “step into your shoes,” wherever you are. We focus on what you care about, and develop trusting, long-term relationships with our clients.

Subscribe To Our Blog

Sign up to get periodic updates on the latest posts.

Thank you for subscribing!

X