Volume XX, Number 32 (Issue 984) August 8, 2022
While many of the organisms in this world are single cell (think bacteria, amoeba, protozoa, algae, and fungi), the ones you and I can best relate to are of the multicell variety (think plants, insects, animals, and people). There is no arguing that multicell organisms are significantly more complex than your typical single cell amoeba. The same is true of the organizations most of us are a part of for they too are examples of complex organisms, albeit man-made. Any organization that has two or more people – which is almost all of them I suppose – is, by definition, complex. If you have ever had a significant other in your life you know what I mean.
Because organisms, regardless of their form, tend to rely on some means of locomotion to get from point A to point B, movement toward a goal depends upon elements of intentionality and coordination. Without both, progress of any kind tends to be random – as in one step forward, a slide to the side, two steps back. Movement of that sort occurs courtesy of a host of outside influences. Intentional movement encounters the same group of outside influences. The difference is intentional movement is purpose driven. As such, it usually moves in the direction of the goal despite the obstacles and distractions.
Intentionality is, as we know, about the goal and commitment. Coordination is about the process. Communication is also about the process as is the science of project planning. Both are particularly important – you might think of them as the glue that holds everything together. Thus, when the work involves multiple disciplines, extends over a period of weeks or more, and/or introduces something where the primary participants lack the needed experience and expertise, effective communication and project management can make the difference between success (and delivery on time) and failure (and missed deadlines and fractured interpersonal relationships).
I bring this up because most organizations are going to be faced with some major changes in the very near future. For some that includes updating if not replacing one or more of their software platforms. For many entities, that software, rather than being their primary business, is one of many tools that are mission critical. Because software isn’t what they do, a bit of knowledgeable help from someone who doesn’t have a hidden agenda (dog in the hunt) can be just what is needed. That’s where project management helps. In addition to being part of the glue, think of it as the traffic cop who is trying to ensure things flow as smoothly as possible.
Recognizing not every organization can warrant, let alone afford a full-time professional project manager on its payroll, every organization can, regardless of size and budget, make a concerted effort to improve internal communication. If nothing else there will be fewer surprises, especially of the unwelcome kind. But beyond that, even the smallest of organizations can learn and adhere to the basic tenets of project management. Do that and more projects will be delivered on time and with fewer headaches.
Soli Deo Gloria
“For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay.” Habakkuk 2:3
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Copyright 2022 by J. Keith Hughey. All rights reserved. Permission is hereby granted for reproduction and redistribution of this essay as provided under the copyright laws of the United States of America. The entire early library of Monday Morning Musings issues may be found at www.jkeithhughey.com. Your comments are welcome and encouraged.