Jumping Ahead

Kenneth has 14 years of healthcare experience in government and private industry. Over eight years of experience managing healthcare IT projects, operations, contracts, and personnel. His work experience includes project management, contracts and procurements, data analysis, claims adjudication, business writing, and business process modeling. Kenneth was certified in 2006 as a Project Management Professional.

Projects move by completing task after task, and those tasks are often very short-duration items that get done. The tasks build on each other like blocks—until one day you get to work and find a tower. You realize that the project is complete (or at least nearly complete) and everyone can take pride in the team’s accomplishments.

There are times though when a project needs to move forward by jumping instead of stacking small blocks. The work might be running behind, or perhaps a breakthrough is needed to get to the next phase successfully. You need to get a crane and lift up something substantial to the top of the building.

Getting By and Getting Ahead
As work progresses on the project, you might find yourself just getting by. It seems that every day that goes by only maintains the status quo; while tasks are being done, you feel no closer to the end goal of a successful project. Some days you even feel like you are going backward instead of forward. You are simply getting by, not getting ahead. This feeling is a sign that it is time to contemplate how you can make a move to leap ahead instead of maintaining the daily grind.

Moving the Goal
A simple trick to jump forward is to move the goal closer. By setting a shorter short-term goal, you can encourage the team and show progress—which may have the effect of increasing morale and beginning a …

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"If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?"

- Albert Einstein