Share the Love – Project Mulligans – December 13, 2017
Michelle LaBrosse, CCPM, PMP, PMI-ACP, RYT
My father and I started to play golf about fifteen years ago. Neither of us was all that good and “do over’s” on really lousy shots (“mulligan’s”) were how we most enjoyed the game. I realized I do the same with my projects that are just not performing. While I find it does help to do some reflection on why the projects went off the rails, it’s best just to do a Project Mulligan and start over.
I had to do that on this yoga/cooking studio project up here in Alaska. Besides teaching project management, I teach yoga and cooking classes. Afterall, stretching, breathing, and eating are all very important too besides being able to finish projects fast. I had hired a local general contractor – who had moved up here from Florida. Now I have some ideas why he may have “had” to leave Florida. He was way over budget and behind schedule, left the entire structure open to the elements all winter, and had failed to pay some of the subcontractors who were then screaming at me for payment. Not a good start at all for the “zen” yoga/cooking studio. My neighbors had used this guy – but none of them told me how bad he was until I was well into my own nightmare experience. They said they just weren’t comfortable talking trash about someone, it’s a small town, his wife works at the health center, etc. Hmmmmm – can’t fault them there but a little heads up would have been nice.
My cousin who has worked on several other projects with me offered to help me finish up the house. We hit our main goal of having the structure ready for winter – the roof, siding, windows and doors are in. As luck would have it, the other subs are now starting to come by to see if I need help (it’s winter here and work is slow). And their rates are far more reasonable than what I was quoted by that initial general contractor. I’m also learning I have all the skills required to be my own general contractor on this project.
So all in all, this project mulligan is like my second, third and fourth shots in golf – a much more successful result. And just like in golf, I don’t spend much time at all thinking about that terrible first shot as I’m too busy playing the game of this project in its current form.
One of the reasons I created Cheetah Project Management was to help people relaunch their projects that were off the rails – as we had a lot of them at the Research Center where I worked. Doing projects is really just like playing golf – you can take the shot over and go back at it. From what I’ve learned, you’re definitely wiser the second time around.