Read the instruction manual first – or ensure you know where your project is going

I came across an interesting Blog site recently. It is called The Happiness Project written by Gretchen Rubin. She has a great writing style and in her latest article Gretchen says that too often she does not read the manual; she rushes in and tries to use the new device or gizmo!

Sound familiar? It does to me and close to home. My stereo system lost all its radio channels and I have spent hours trying to store them but without any luck. After reading her blog, I decided to search the net and downloaded the instruction booklet. I can assure you it will be read! Thanks Gretchen for prompting me.

The article also connected with me when I thought about the number of people who dive straight in with project planning. They do not follow the manual which is very clear:

• identify the business case
• identify the business benefits
• agree/assign project roles
• carry out stakeholder and risk management
• develop the project scope including objectives

The list is extensive.

But, are you like Gretchen? Do you dive straight in without ‘reading the manual first’? We still meet many who omit the above areas. The result; as she mentions is… “that you do not have the time to prepare. How many of us have been aggravated by the amount of time we have to spend planning a child’s birthday party, packing for a trip, or setting up a presentation? It’s easy to stint on the ‘unessential’ beginning stages of a task. Read the instruction manual’ is a reminder not to begrudge the time and energy spent on preparation.”

So, read the project manual. Ensure you spend time getting the project off to a good start. As Gretchen comments, it is time really well spent!

Gretchen’s Blog can be found here

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