The Journey Continues…

I’m working with a project manager now on a restoration and upgrade of a sports pavilion.  He’s an experienced project manager, and he’s worked on much larger projects than this sports pavilion.  As he leads the project, he frequently refers to “the journey of the project” and “taking Joan on the journey” or “delayed steelworks will change the journey of the veranda.”

I find this phraseology refreshing.  A journey is going to have many twists and turns, and different traveling companions at different times.  It’s going to have some detours and delays, or its going to have some tense “rush to catch the ferry” moments.  Journeys also always come to an end, hopefully at the hoped-for destination.

Having driven across the US twice, and cycled across a few states, I can understand this well.  It’s an early and consistent way to acknowledge not everything will be know until the journey goes forward, and an acknowledgment that not everyone who starts the trip will end it. Also, we’ll do the best we possibly can when things go awry (a flat tire, a missed ferry), and we’re mentally prepared for that.

Maybe that’s the right approach for tech integration and project development as well.  Sometimes, we’re so focused on advocating the positive that we neglect to acknowledge the likely set-backs and detours.

There are cases of complete “crash and burn” projects (major investments that had to be abandoned 1 or more years after deployment), but I wonder how many of them may have been caused by not reading the writing on the wall and making an appropriate detour much earlier in the process.

Rainy here today in London.  Have the day off, but there’s too much rain to take the family to the boat yet.

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