Project Management 101

There is no better way to learn anything than to do it. No matter how much reading and planning I put into a project I have no experience in, I will never truly understand how to do it until I actually do it. It has taken a long time for me to comprehend that no one is really ready for anything (for the most part). People are usually just making it up as they go. Another way to look at it is that nothing is given; everything you want must be taken by your own hand. Doing is always the best approach.

I recently helped a friend who was commissioned to put together a series of videos. It is interesting to see how these things end up taking on the persona of the man in charge. In the first five minutes of the project, it is easy to see what the leaders’ strengths and weaknesses are. It is important that the person in charge understands what those strengths and weaknesses are composed of to not allow those weaknesses to interfere with production. Play to your strengths and get help with the rest.

“Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.”
-Helen Keller

As mentioned above, most of the time we need to jump into things head first in order to begin learning. So how can you know what your strengths and weaknesses are until you do that? Well, there are two sides to that coin. Partially, you know there are overlying strengths and weaknesses that you can apply to your life in its entirety. If you are a slow reader, it doesn’t make a difference what environment you are put in, the outcome will remain the same. Those weaknesses that are inherent to your personality or skillset are easily manageable in the planning stages of a project.

The other side is those shortcomings you don’t realize you have until you are diving into new territory. Learn on the fly and be honest with yourself as well as those around you. There is no shame in my game when I am in unexplored territory. Simply saying I don’t know, this is my first time, and I will do my best to get it done has to be good enough. Plus, this is a tremendous learning opportunity to not allow your weaknesses to prevail in the future.

When working with groups of people, it is vital that the right person is at the helm. The others involved will benefit exponentially from concise communication. If the ring leader is not up to those standards necessary to move a project forward in a timely manner, everyone is going to suffer as well as the final product. Take time to consider who is best suited to do what, and then place unequivocal faith in each party to accomplish what they are best suited for.