Are Your Projects “Healthy”?

I was reminded recently that it is time for my annual physical. At my age, this is a pretty important time of the year and sometimes a little stressful.  None of us want the bad news but if we can get some early indications of arising issues, this would be a good thing.  Ideally, we have time to get these ‘issues’ under control.

Do any of you put your projects through an annual physical?  Okay, maybe not the best title but you know what I mean.  As with our own physical, the best news would be that our projects have been given a clean bill of health.

I’ve thought lately about the definition of a healthy project.

Healthy projects:

  • contain team members and stakeholders that are happy.
  • have clients that are satisfied.
  • deliver value to the “business”.
  • provide a learning environment for everyone and everything involved, including the project itself

Note, that I didn’t include smooth delivery, no changes, crisis free days, on budget delivery, on-time delivery or even on scope delivery.  I did not include no arguments, no disagreements, no missed deadlines or great communication channels.

The reality is that all of our projects are subject to lots of bad stuff, including any or most of the above list.

Healthy projects manage all of the bad stuff well – leaving behind people on all sides (customer or team member) who can say “that experience was worthwhile and I’m glad I was a part of it.”

Healthy projects contain team members who can say that while it wasn’t smooth all along, and the journey included some pretty stressful moments, I enjoyed being involved in this project.

If the client is satisfied, we did our job well. We managed through all the changes, typical project issues and delivered what the customer wanted. In the end, we can see that throughout all our efforts, we delivered a product or service that added value to someone or something’s bottom line or life.

And finally, months or years from now, we can look back at some of the lessons learned and apply them to future work we are doing.   

Best wishes for happy and healthy projects. 

David

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