The world is going through a challenging time. Businesses are uncertain about the future; there has been an increase in the unemployment rate worldwide across all sectors of the economy, a decrease in consumers’ confidence, and the digitalization of work and other daily activities. People are living under stress due to hardship, demanding jobs, and the impact of this situation on their mental and physical health.
Do you know how many people are not happy with their current jobs or business or their overall life status? Doing a job that you don’t like may lead to serious implications on your health, personal or professional life such as stress, fatigue, physical and mental health, and relationship issues, a decrease in your productivity and your business or organisation’s performance just to name a few.
Your ability to adapt is essential to survive and flourish during this time of global economic turmoil challenges and uncertainty. What are the ideas that you can turn into successful projects?
The use of project management to assist organisations in achieving their objectives is growing rapidly. Despite this growth, some individuals and businesses have not yet embraced the concept.
When we look at many of the things we all enjoy today, such as the products resulting from all the developments in technology, the beautiful buildings around us, or all the fruits of the developments in business, we need to bear in mind that they all started in someone’s mind as an idea or a dream and they were only transformed into a concrete reality later on.
Whether you are a child, a parent, a student, a teacher, an employee, a manager, a business owner, a politician, or a head of state, we all need to have dreams. Without dreams, it is difficult to achieve anything. Dreams give us the direction, the motivation, the determination, and focus to achieve anything in life even when we go through challenges.
We can have dreams at a young age or as adults, such as the dream of becoming an accountant, an entrepreneur, a doctor, a lawyer, a builder in the field of construction, working in IT, a trainer, a writer, a mentor, a coach, an adviser, a dream to travel, to buy or build a beautiful home or a dream to become a billionaire why not? etc.
Your dreams reflect who you are, what you like, and what you want to achieve. When you fail to identify them with clarity you will end up having a career that supports your lifestyle despite the lack of satisfaction it gives you. This can result in being unhappy with your current job or the life you are living because it is not relevant to your career, business, or dream goal.
You can be at work but not performing at your full potential because there is a gap between where you are now and where you want to be. You will start feeling like there is something missing in your life and tension will build up inside you. When you feel that way, it is a sign that you need to recognize it is time for a change whether you like it or not.
If you fail to recognise the sign and do something about it to bridge the gap, this situation will lead to stress, fatigue, illnesses, a decrease in your productivity and your business or organisation’s performance due to the pressure and the demand of the job you are doing. It is because you fail to align what you do with your personal or business values, vision, or purpose. Therefore, you find yourself making wrong choices concerning your career, business, or even your social life. These factors are some of the causes of the delays and failures in what you want to achieve in your life or business.
Why don’t you take action to change the course of the situation? You may be afraid of starting the change process because you want to stay in your comfort zone. Or you may say to yourself things such as you are too old to start, you don’t have time, you have too many responsibilities, you need your current job’s income, or people will reject you if you start the change process, and so on.
When you neglect to change the course of action, an unexpected event can force you to start the change process such as a divorce, serious illness, loss of employment or the loss of someone dear to you, a natural catastrophe or a pandemic that shut down the world economy recently.
You need to bear in mind that challenges are inevitable. We all go through challenges in life, whether in your childhood or your adult life. When there is a difference between your current state and your desired state you can establish that a problem exists. When you are going through challenges you will have the conviction that the problem you are facing is impossible to resolve. Addressing the challenge from the surface is a temporary fix because it will keep on reoccurring time and time again.
You can maybe think that the problem is related to a technical or hard skill while the issues are something else instead. When you focus on addressing the technical problem and ignore the underlying problem that issue will still be there and impacting your performance. You can be complaining about being unable to meet your target at work when the real issue is your lack of leadership within the team. Or you can blame the lack of communication while the problem is your lack of confidence in giving clear direction to the team members.
This situation can happen not only in your career, but also in your business or even in your social life. You can be exhausted because you cannot say no to other people’s requests. This can be that you are afraid of being rejected if you say no and you are putting yourself under tremendous stress. When you are stressed out, you will be at work but not really performing to your full potential because as mentioned before, stress leads to fatigue, illnesses, mental health and relationships issues, and a decrease in your productivity and business performance.
And if you want to go deeper and uncover the root cause of your fear of rejection you can maybe trace it back in your childhood. Maybe you were rejected by a family member or you were bullied at school. If you don’t identify the root cause and address it this problem will keep on coming back and you will be unable to achieve what you want in your personal or professional life.
Happiness is essential in our lives as human beings, and we all strive for it. Being happy is a powerful state of being, and feeling happy can assist us in achieving our dreams. However, we often find ourselves pursuing riches and material objects, and we end up having a career that supports our lifestyle despite the lack of satisfaction it gives us. This can result in a majority of us being unhappy with our current jobs.
You need to know who you are, what you like, and what you want to achieve in your life so that you make the right choices concerning any project you want to undertake. By doing so you will ensure that you will be satisfied with the project end result; otherwise, you will work hard on a project and only found out at completion that it was a wrong idea.
When you work and understand your personal level first, you will be able to align any project you want to undertake to avoid the stress due to the pressure and the demands of the job you will be performing. Therefore it is crucial to be involved in a project that is in line with who you are as a person for ultimate success.
Anything Is A Project, whatever you want to achieve in life. It can be in your personal, career or business as long as you love what you are doing. However, many people fail to achieve what they want and projects continue to fail despite the high standard and criteria of a project manager.
There are so many reasons why projects fail. Among those reasons is the lack of your project alignment with your personal or business strategy and the lack of clarity in your project definition. You will need to have a strategy and plan to help you thrive especially during this uncertain time.
If you don’t have a clear definition of what you want to achieve right from the beginning and know why you want to do it, you are not going to be satisfied with the expected result or you may even give up when you face challenges. Your time and resources will be wasted. Therefore, it is paramount to be clear about who you are, what you like, and what you want to achieve. Because being aware is the foundation of everything you will do after whether in your career, business, or even in your social life. When you know with clarity what you want to achieve; every choice and decision you will make will be relevant to your personal or professional life. It will, therefore, put you in control and lead to your projects’ overall satisfaction.
In order to succeed in your project, you need to have the skill or skills required in that project. Many organisations are in search of talented people to increase their competitive advantage. Some may have the budget for training and development to empower their employees by topping up their knowledge; however, others will prefer to hire those employees possessing already a talent so that they can hit the ground and run.
This is why you need to keep on searching to update yourself in your particular skill and businesses should also offer an Employee, Value, Proposition (EVP) that is attractive in order to retain talents. Before to continue further, we need to clarify what is talent, skill, and passion.
So what is a talent? Let us start with passion first, passion is defined in the dictionary as an extreme interest in something or a wish for doing something such as teaching, surfing, flying an airplane, driving, web designing, etc. In order to be satisfied in any endeavour, you need to be passionate about it.
Have you ever heard this saying: ‘Follow your passion’? When you are not satisfied with your job or your personal life you feel like you don’t live a fulfilled life. It is because there is a gap between where you are now and where you want to be.
You will not find fulfilment in life or be happy unless you bridge this gap. Otherwise, there will always be tension building up inside you and creating unnecessary stress. It is why it is essential to have a desire and follow it.
Why do you need to be passionate about something?
Passion is the love of something that makes you happy and uplifted. It is something that you can do without having the feeling of something being forced on you. It is something that you enjoy doing. It can be a hobby or other activities or a passion for living beings. Having a passion gives you the drive and motivation to do whatever you love to do. When you are involved in a project that you love, that project will progress well and be delivered successfully.
You need to identify what it is. Is it a passion for cars? Find out if you have a passion for making them, driving them, repairing them, selling them, or collecting them, etc. You will need to be specific about this.
However, following your passion is not enough. You need to develop it so that you can be an expert in that particular field. You will need to know what you want to do with your passion. If you’re going to monetise it you will need to check if there is a market for it by researching: what the needs of your potential customers are? What is the pain they are going through? What are they struggling with as a result? And what is the solution you are offering them?
Maybe you already know your passion and are living it, or maybe you don’t have even a clue about it. If you don’t know what your passion is, you could be living a personal or professional life that is not in line with your purpose.
The benefit of having a passion and following it is enormous. It will give you the ability to use your natural given talent. It will give you the opportunity to operate at a level of confidence by increasing your knowledge and interest in that area and by using it to serve others by giving them support and inspiration, by teaching them, leading, or providing them with guidance, etc.
It will give you a positive attitude, and this will leads to problem-solving and may even make you wake up in the morning with enthusiasm about the day ahead of you. However, you need to develop this passion so that you can become better and can position yourself or your business as an authority and specialist in the field of your gifted talent.
Your passion can be in any area and can be turned into a project so that you can improve your life and the lives of others. When you know and follow your passion, you will be living your life’s purpose and accomplish what you were meant to accomplish in life, and success will follow. You need to bear in mind that your passion is about helping other people, your family members, your friends, or your customers or clients. It is about what you offer them, how you do it, and what their experience with you is.
As mentioned before, many people fail to achieve what they want and many projects continue to fail despite the criteria of a good project manager. Project management principles increase your project’s chance of success. If you are in business, It will also increase your business’s competitive advantage and profitability by ensuring the smooth control of the project in terms of efficiency and organisation. However, good project management does not give the absolute guarantee of success in every project. It will help you not to waste your money, time and other resources. When you know your passion and you have developed it into a skill to improve your life and the lives of others, you can start working on any project you want using your skill.
What will be the process?
The project management process begins with the initiation process answering the questions why do you need your project? Is it to solve a problem or to take advantage of an opportunity? You need to define your project clearly; a vague project definition leads to misunderstanding of the work to be done and therefore the result will not be what was expected.
You will also need to know what your project scope is, this means you need to specify what will be included or excluded from your project to avoid being involved in unnecessary work that will require more money and time. You will continue and ask yourself the question to know what you are going to deliver when you are done with the project.
In other words, what will be your deliverable? Is it a product, a service, a process or any other result that you want to have at the end of the project? What is that? You will make a list of your project’s deliverables and part deliverables. What are your estimated costs and your project’s start day? This is just to have a rough idea; you will provide more details later on.
You will also need to know if your project depends on another project and if there is any assumption you are making because you don’t have the required data at this point. And there are few other information that you need for you to complete your project initiation.
There are many documents to use in the initiation process and what you need depends on your project’s needs and your organisation. The purpose of those documents is for you to request the project’s approval. They are the Project brief, the business case, the project initiation document (PID), and the project charter.
The second step is the project planning. The purpose of the project management plan is to organise the project management and establish the project management processes and standards to follow throughout your project. This plan is a living document that will be updated as needed during the project life cycle.
The third step is the execution or implementation. This phase’s purpose is to act on planned activities. However, it is paramount to check one more time before you start the implementation if your project deliverables and scope are still relevant. During this phase, you as the Project Manager; you will direct and manage the project execution and modify the project plan as needed. Project monitoring is performed during the project’s life cycle. This phase is the longest and crucial. Its purpose is to take action on the project plan by developing the project deliverables according to the specified requirements
The fourth step is the Project monitoring and control. This step will consist on tracking all activities planned and compare with the actual performed tasks to draw the variances and explain them.
The project closure is the end of the project. The deliverables have been completed and should be handed over to the customer if you are doing the project on behalf of a customer. If you need help with your project please call us or send us an email we will work with you.
So let me wrap up what we talked about on this show. Knowing your passion is not enough, you need to develop it into a skill that you can use to help others. And you need to know why you want to do the project and align it with your personal or business vision. Start to work on your project by following the project management process.
When you are involved in a project you love doing, you will be motivated and determined to complete it successfully and be satisfied with the result of any project you undertake even if you face challenges. Therefore every choice or decision you make should be relevant to your career, business, or dream goal’s project.
Annie Ka Wenu Dip, BSc, MSc