The heck with it, let’s just do it!

by Stuart on 10 January 2011

There's no doubt in my mind that good solid project management methods make it more likely that your project will succeed.  But doesn't sticking to the rules mean that organisations can get bogged down in procedure and lose the spark?

I say no.

If you're in receipt of a grant (from wherever) then you owe it to the person/body who gave you that grant to spend it wisely, and to show that you've spent it wisely. (That way you might get another one……) And good PM methods help you do just that.  So you make sure all your objectives are achievable and realistic etc, and all those other good things.

But there are times when you have no idea, and can have no idea, whether or not you can achieve your aim. What do you do here?

"To heck with it, let's just do it"

Some of the best and most exciting projects have that thought at their very beginning.  But having made the decision to "just do it", the projects that succeeded went on to use good solid PM methods to try to achieve their mad goal.

The best example I can think of is the moon landings.  JFK's speech was a 5 gold star example of "let's just do it", but the success of the project was built on breaking the mad goal down into chunks,  scheduling them, costing them, resourcing them, monitoring them – sound familiar?

So, the point of this post?  There are times when you look at the project objectives, the risks, the resource requirements, budget etc, and if you are a sane person you would say "this project will never work, we should really not do it".  But there's that little nagging doubt in your mind.  This project, if it works, will change the world for the better, and it should be done.

So you say "To heck with it, let's just do it"

Some of the time you'll regret that decision.  But some of the time you'll look back and realise it was the best decision you ever made.

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