Pain-free Projects Are Not an Accident
If you have ever been involved in a refurbishment project of any size—whether it be a room, an entire house, an antique automobile or even an airplane—there can be painful times and there can be times of great satisfaction. Over the years I have experience both extremes.
To ensure that projects result in satisfaction rather than pain, it’s important to remember two key elements: preplanning and attitude. As I recall countless projects, the ones with the best results were due to preplanning and staying proactive throughout the journey.
Having the right attitude and being clear on expectations plays a major role in a positive experience. This includes being reasonable with your outcomes and time frame expectations and goals. Over the long haul, understating and over-delivering on expectations are the best ways to help realize success.
Having all of the materials, hardware and equipment in place prior to the start of the project also contributes to a pain-free outcome. Unfortunately there will always be times when unexpected situations arise but it is important to stay proactive, prepared and focused to tackle them head on.
Another way to ensure a pain-free project is to trust but verify each step of the process to make sure no steps get missed or shortchanged. These course verifications and corrections will help you stay on track.
It is also important to understand the true character of those you work with. Throughout the project you will have to deal with conflict and obstacles, but will your employees and coworkers be a part of the solution?
It is also important to understand the true character of those you work with.
To avoid repetition in the future it’s important to know the cause, but moving forward and getting back on course is most critical in the moment. Save the “blame game” for the post project review meeting and use it as a learning experience and a chance to grow. I personally believe that when things go wrong, it becomes an opportunity to demonstrate commitment to your principles and values, earning you even greater trust.
Despite all the best planning strategies, things can and do go wrong. Having the right attitude is so very critical. If you think back over history our Space Program, you’ll see that even with all the careful planning mistakes still happen. But rather than focusing on the tragic events, I prefer to think of how countless men and women have rallied together to address the situations and prevent them from happening again. The ultimate goal is to make the journey an enjoyable experience every step of the way. Having a positive attitude throughout the project ensures that it will end in satisfaction rather than pain. And that is no accident!