The Project Management Trip

Memory Suitcases, by Yuval Yairi.

“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page” – Saint Augustine

What does going on a trip have to do with managing a project? Would it be strange if I said ‘everything?’

Well, that’s exactly what I’m about to say. Going on a trip has everything to do with managing a project. In fact, they are one and the same in my opinion. Going away on holiday or on a traveling adventure is a whole project in itself and planning well ahead could be the difference between having a great trip or a horrible traveling experience.

Students of project management will be very familiar with the time, cost, and quality triangle as all projects are based on the relationship between these three factors. For example, the longer the duration, the more expensive the project and this will have a direct impact on the quality of the finished work.

However, I think there are other factors to managing a project that are often overlooked and the clue is in the word, trip. By breaking down this word and re-presenting it as an acronym (T.R.I.P), I have managed to identify two other factors that I believe are essential to successfully managing a project, and I’ll share them with you here.

Time

Every holiday requires time. We need time to plan for a holiday, we need to be on time to catch our flight, and we need time to perform the activities we are interested in. This also applies to any business project we set for ourselves. Time waits for no one and it is crucial that we get this part of the planning stage right so that we can do all the things we plan to do, in good time.

Resources

Money is usually the first thing that comes to mind when people talk about resources. But Google defines resources as a ‘stock or supply of money, materials, staff, and other assets that can be drawn on by a person or organization in order to function effectively’. If you plan on going on a skiing trip for example, a ski would come in as one of the resources you need right? You could buy and bring your own or you could check if the resort provides skis as a service. Either way, you’ll need to have one or else you won’t be doing much skiing. Similarly, for a graphic design project, you will need to have graphic-design tools in order to actually do the work. Having a good supply of money can help you acquire all the resources you need for your project, and good budgeting will help to reduce the risk of depleting it.

Information

Imagine traveling to unknown regions without a map or a guide to give you information about where you are. How would you get to your next destination? Embarking on new business projects can sometimes feel as though we are venturing into the unknown and sometimes, we actually are. In such situations, information becomes priceless and the right information at the right time can propel you to your next milestone and prepare you for what to expect ahead.

People

Ever been on a long journey alone? Would you ever go traveling around the world all by yourself? Most people I’ve asked quickly replied, ‘No!’. They also said they would go with at least one companion to share the experience with, but most importantly, for safety and security. So if we do not like taking trips and holidays by ourselves, why should we work on projects alone?  People, as far as I’m concerned, are the most important resource you can have for any project. As well as their diverse talents and skills, they will also bring their personalities to the party, which all adds to the experience. There is safety in numbers but there is also fun and innovation in diversity. People make the trip worthwhile.

In conclusion, I think managing a project is just like going on a trip and in order to arrive at our chosen destination successfully, we need to manage our Time, Resources, Information and People, effectively. Thank you for joining me on this little project management trip. I hope you’ve enjoyed it. Now get out there, have fun with it and be lucky!

By E. Nyoreme Nakpodia

The Project Management Trip © 2014 Nyoremes Books.

Creative Commons Licence

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    • PM Hut
    • November 3rd, 2014

    Hi Nyoreme,

    I like how you create an analogy between going to trip and project management. This reminds of this post about Project Management and running on PM Hut.

    I would really like to republish your post on PM Hut where many project managers will benefit from it. Please either email me or contact me through the contact us form on the PM Hut site in case you’re OK with this.

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