Project Rule #3
Not Everything is a Project
Project Rule #1 says that “A project is an effort undertaken for a specific purpose, with an intended outcome, and a clear beginning and ending.”
So what is NOT a project?
Any effort that is purely repetitive is not a project, though repetitive efforts may be part of a project.
Just working on something doesn’t make it a project. It must be an intentional effort with a planned result in a specific timeframe. Simply going through your day doesn’t make the day’s effort a project.
If you show up to a factory every day and run a machine that produces a widget, you can’t really call yourself a project manager. You’re doing a task and doing your job, but you aren’t running a project.
The same is true if you work in a call center providing customer service or maintain the accounting and finances for your company.
It becomes a project when the effort becomes explicit. Remember: it must have a specific purpose, intended outcome, and a beginning and ending.
So running the production of a specific widget for a specific time could be a project.
Implementing a new customer service software platform could be a project.
Conducting the annual close of your company’s financial statements or preparing annual tax filings could be a project.
Writing a blog post is not a project. Writing a book…could be!
Step out beyond the repetitive tasks that make up the day-to-day activities. They may be a part of a project, but they aren’t a project in and of themselves.
Are you stuck in a repetitive cycle? Could you restructure your efforts into a project-based approach to gain new perspective and make more progress?