Listen to Mike Tyson and Avoid These 5 Project Planning Pitfalls:
The best-laid plans go so easily awry

As Mike Tyson so eloquently stated, “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face.”

Iron Mike’s subtext is that, when faced with obstacles, even the best-laid plans go to hell. 

Zigging and zagging become easier when a team is unencumbered by grandiose long-term plans. Here are some ideas about how to keep project plans achievable and maintain your sanity in the process.

1. Know thy business

If you don’t understand your company’s mission and goals, it’s hard to make coherent plans. Block out time to develop expertise in what you’re undertaking.

2. Plan small

If you make a six-month plan, too many unknowns will interfere with your ultimate goals. Making a grandiose plan with a big payoff at the end is like a Vegas high roller who bets his entire savings on one spin of the roulette wheel. 

You need to accumulate smaller wins instead of making one huge bet that you’re likely to lose.

3. Decompose the problem

Break big problems into smaller, accomplishable chunks. Make sure you can measure success or failure for each smaller piece of work. Set yourself up for success by committing to reasonably difficult but achievable goals.

4. Be bold

Don’t be timid. Take some educated risks and stretch yourself. However,
if you break up the work into small pieces and fail, acknowledge the failures, take your lumps, and change course.

5. It takes a village

Figure out how to engage others in the plan because you cannot succeed alone. Remember that when you bring in others, they will have their own ideas that may differ from yours. Rather than viewing opposing ideas as challenging your authority, figure out how to incorporate the best ideas to make an even better plan.

Does this intrigue you? Are you interested in learning more? If so, it’s your lucky day. My new book expounds upon this modified excerpt. Buy The Agile Enterprise: Applying Agile Principles to Drive Organizational Success in digital or print format to better understand applying the principles of Agile Programming across the board in a company.