A new project is always exciting; a new challenge, a new problem to be solved, new complexities to discover and to unravel. But after the initial discussions and debates someone has to pull all the details together and formulate a cohesive plan. This is usually where many managers back off and leave it to the ‘professional’ project manager to do his or her stuff.

I don’t know why so many people do not have the patience or desire to make a detailed planning in Microsoft Project. After all it’s not that difficult, you just need to think logically and try and imagine all the tasks that will need to be done to achieve your objective. Later on you can begin to group them into either types or sequence and then both. The great thing about MS Project is that you do not have to put everything in sequence, at least not in the beginning. You can link any tasks together, regardless of where they are on the page.

I am amazed at the number of projects that start and end without decent planning. Good will and lots of guess work sometimes gets them through, somehow. But I am equally not amazed at the number of projects that never really deliver and waste precious company resources that could otherwise have been spent of something much more beneficial.

I was discussing the budget of a project with a colleague this week and he didn’t’ even blink an eye when I told him it would be over 150 million EUR over eighteen months. Sometimes people get so used to big numbers that they forget just how big they are.

For 150 MEUR you can build a shopping centre with car parks and health suite. You can buy a sizeable company with a very sound future, if you choose wisely.

The boring stuff needs to get done and it is best done by the project manager him (or her) self. There is no one better. PM’s that delegate the high level planning, never really get in touch with their project. They never have a firm grip on it or understand the beauty of seemingly pulling something together that at first glance is impossible.

Projects can be compared to physical human feats but, at the end of the day – it’s not the man on the moon that enriches our society, but the technologies developed to get him there that do. And without the boring stuff, none of it would ever get realized.

Have a good week,