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"Go slow now so you can go faster later"

Currently I am listening to a replay of a presentation about Project Risk Management by Frank Saladis having this quote on one of its slides: "Go slow now so you can go faster later". It reminds me of another quote I once heard from one of my mountain guides when going on some hiking tour: "The one who goes slow goes far."

Doing project management right means to have sort of a slow start since you need to do some planning and preparation upfront before you actually start execution of the project and creating the deliverables customers of your project asked for.

This means that for some period of time you do not work directly on those deliverables, you more work on plans and documents and processes and setting things up for the project. This exactly is the reason why projects are not managed well in an environment lead by people who do not understand the value of project management. When they see you doing your planning and all that stuff they quickly get real nervous and impatient and come up with questions like: "when will you start wrting code for me ?"

A project manager needs to deal with that impatience, otherwise he or she won't be able to do the job as project manager at all and what was supposed to be a project quickly turns into an adventure.

There is another nice saying about project management. There are two ways to do a project: plan and execute, or: execute, fail, plan and execute.

2 blog comments below

Interesting theory amagard. I've heard this is true for long distance running as well. Except of course not really slow, but pacing oneself. I think they should also add that one should be completely unafraid to fail, as sometimes some of the most unique features get discovered during failure so they can improve the project in the longer term. Sometimes people are so afraid, they get to build too many safety features that could potentially unfocus the project managers and the planning becomes much too rigid leaving much less room for innovation.
deanhills on Sat Apr 06, 2013 5:06 am
For some unknown reason, the head nuts like to see actual progress instead of planning. I have been asked many times for a 'part' from a project before I was even assigned the project. That is planning!!
standready on Sun Apr 07, 2013 1:32 am

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