They say you learn something new every day.

My team at work has leapt into action because there is an audit coming up next month. Sneakily, I’ve told them the deadline is an earlier than it actually is – which I know is bad of me, and I need to trust them more, but I’ve been burnt too many times. I need to slowly bring them round to be trustworthy.

Now, I’ve known for a while that the secret to running projects is to have a very clear brief. In fact, I’d say that’s the key part of running a successful project. But it’s become very clear to me in this situation. If you want to run a project well:

  1. You need a definite deadline that everyone is working towards and feels that they cannot miss. There need to be consequences to missing it too.
  2. The deadline needs to be short enough that there’s a continual need to be working towards it. If the deadline is too far away, people lose their sense of urgency.
  3. Everyone needs to be very clear of what they need to do to get to that deadline. If people don’t know what they’re doing, they get aimless.
  4. The aims need to be specific and measurable.People need to know if they’re hitting the target or not, and need to know how far away they are from the target.

If your project is bigger than this, and almost every project is, you need to break it down into smaller projects with smaller deadlines. Otherwise nothing will happen.

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