Home > IT Management, Project Management, Unstructured thoughts > First cart, then horse. It is the ….

First cart, then horse. It is the ….

Planning is a funny exercise… often, we say we are going to go someplace called…there…. and then put the stake in the ground, marking the decision we have just made – written in blood and stone.  This decision, often revolving around some number (or choice of action), is at best an educated guess of a future point in time.  But as we know so well… there’s a constant in the universe, the change factor which comes in many guises – could be entropy, could be bad luck, could be law of averages, maybe even the law of “shit happens” or simply:

Damn me!

Damn me!

Because of your misfortune to have communicated this up the line, someone in a galaxy far far away is now going to hold you to your word.  It’s now become one of the 10 Commandments, Thou Shall Not Go Against The Made Up Number in Planning!  You are sooo doomed because “real” projects and decisions are being made which this number was factored into making “abort mission” a near impossibility.  When people say not to lie, i’m sure a lot of it is because a lie has many siblings, cousins and family members more than happy to create havoc all in your good name.

You find yourself in

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  1. July 23, 2008 at 2:37 PM

    Here’s a similar project management article about the horse/cart thing: Putting the Cart After the Horse – Project Planning and Scope Definition

  2. Lui Sieh
    July 24, 2008 at 6:08 AM

    Thanks for this sharing! A very good piece on disciplined project planning which as the author notes is so difficult due to the fast-paced business world – where now was yesterday and tomorrow is today.

    Personally, planning activities should take up most of the PM’s time, maybe more than 75% across the project life cycle. It’s not execution that’s hard per se. It’s the execution of a poorly planned project that’s hard.

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