Projects, People and Wrong Choices

Projects, People and Wrong Choices

James Sandrini 15th April 2019

Your day is split in two: Daily communication – predominantly made up of emails, calls, messages and meetings – and projects.

Projects are the tasks that drive your company forward. They represent the broader, vital work that result from past failure or future aspiration.

Projects, by nature of their importance, are afforded teams of people, extended time and oversite. This is a good thing.

Projects can be minor – sourcing a new timekeeping or scheduling tool, for example. Or major – designing and developing a new system or recruiting a new team member.

Not all projects are successful, naturally. They waiver and wind up as resources are realigned, or due to a lack of communication or visibility or accountability, or under the weight of mismanaged scopes, expectations and processes.

Sunk Cost vs. Opportunity Cost

People have a need to be useful and successful. We have an unhealthy, albeit necessary, obsession with ego, to the extent that the journey – failure included – is negated in favour of the end result, whether the output is related to the input or otherwise.

People are far more likely to become addicted to irregular rewards and intermittent reinforcement than they are to anything more reliable. Which is one of the reasons that success is so stimulating; the unknown.

People run projects, but it’s usually a sole honcho that has their head on the line.

Not all people are suited to run projects, of course. They sway and struggle as briefs change, talent and stamina erode, or under the weight of mismanaged scopes, expectations and processes.

"Simply put, we’ve invented the defining conversation piece of our lifetimes."

For all that Brexit in of itself is a tragic, flawed concept in both theory and execution, it will persevere as a valuable teaching tool, germane to a range of future circumstance. Simply put, we’ve invented the defining conversation piece of our lifetimes.

Brexit was our shared, pernicious project. Those leading said project failed to appreciate that the sunk cost – the campaign, the vote, all the subsequent bullshit – was less valuable than the opportunity cost – everything we could be doing to make our country better.

When will it stop? Who knows.

What other talent and time will be wasted working towards an unenviable future? Who. Knows.

Brexit, if valuable in no other way, is a reminder of the most profitable, positive approach to projects. Care not for what you might have lost; Concern yourself with what you may lose in the days, months – and in the case of Brexit – lifetimes ahead.