"Project Management is a life skill"

by Andy Kaufman on November 12, 2008

“Project management is a life skill.”

I say this in nearly every workshop I deliver. I know it sounds a bit geeky, but the truth is we’re doing projects all the time. Not only can it help us at work…. It can also help at home.

Take this story from Donna, a recent workshop participant:

Hi Andy,

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

The reason why I attended the Project Management class last week was strictly business/work related. However, the WBS structure Delphi Technique particularly the “wallpapering” portion changed the climate in my house to peaceful and the level of my blood pressure to normal! 🙂

Here’s how….

I have a teenage son that’s a senior in high school who has a 4.0 gpa with big plans and NO ACTION!!!! Everyday since the first day of school he has carried a list of about 20 college/universities around in his wallet that he would like to attend, coupled with endlessly talk about big plans to play football in college, and would really, really, really like a part-time job to work on the weekends.

After many unsuccessful attempts to demand, bribe, motivate, encourage, influence, and even challenge him to take action, my efforts fell on dead soil. This kid did not take ACTION! He only came up with excuses.

As I sat on the sofa as usual thinking about what I would try next to give this kid a push, I began to take the work I brought home out of my bag. Guess what came out with it…..THE GOLD SHEET!!! As I looked at what I had written down for the “key things I learned” the fire works went off! I jump up and began to put the WBS Delphi Technique (wallpapering) in motion. (Some tweaking fit the purpose) I also added a daily log. (Something has to be done everyday! Even if it’s nothing but adding a task.)
Project management training and keynotes
Directly in front of my son’s room I placed plastic over the wall to protect the paint and created the high level structure. (RED and BLUE in the pic) I chose the wall in front of his room to serve as a reminder every time he exited……. there’s work to be done! I then explained to my son what we were doing and turned him loose. He had to add the details. (ORANGE, WHITE, AND YELLOW in the pic).

Here’s what he has accomplished within a matter of days…..

  • Decreased his list of 20 college/universities down to 5
  • Scheduled to re-take the ACT
  • Scheduled to take the SAT
  • Completed 3 of the 5 college applications (turned in one including transcript requests)
  • Began the essay portion of the applications
  • Scheduled a meeting with his counselor
  • Began the creation of his football highlight DVD
  • Completed 2 job applications
  • GOT THE PART-TIME JOB!!!!!! (within 3 days!!!!!)

As you can see……this system is a lifesaver for my son and an answered prayer for me!!!! Needless to say…..he thinks I’m crazy! ha ha ha!

Thanks again!

Way to go, Donna! As we stress in our workshops, this stuff only works when you take action on it. Project management skills are completely actionable and practical to daily life, both at work and home.

Ready to start helping you team (and family!) more reliably deliver? Contact us today!

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

PM Hut November 12, 2008 at 1:31 pm

Who says Project Management is a heartless profession? It really relates to everything.

I have published a while ago an excellent series of articles, Project Management in my Life, which is also written by a mother, and how she juggles multiple things at the same time, and how everything relates to Project Management.

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