Large projects take on a life of their own. They are unwieldly with lots of moving parts and issues coming at us from all sides. It’s a lot to hold on to so these usually become ‘programs’ and we hire a group of project managers to keep track of all the details. That’s all well and good – details matter.
Having been responsible for this type of project before but on my own, it’s tough to take a step back from the details and look at the project as a whole. Where is it heading? Are we going off the rails with all the problems? Are these ‘normal’ problems and we are continuing in our forward momentum? Are we going awry? Is there one cause or one person who is a bottleneck? Is there a department that is always behind or a person making things overly hard?
I’ve talked about the ART of project management and this is where the rubber hits the road. This is where the expert resides. Finding the answers to these questions is being the conductor – looking around at your orchestra, seeing patterns and seeing the difference between symptoms and the real problems.