4 Tips on Project Mgmt from Planning a Baby

So I haven’t blogged a ton about it but I’m expecting a baby any day now (not really I – my wife is doing all the hard work).

As we’ve been getting ready for our first-born, we’ve been doing a lot of planning. And the more I thought of it, it’s really the same style of planning of any important project (no, the baby isn’t a project. It’s the most beautiful thing in the world. Don’t get me in trouble 🙂

So here are my project management tips from planning a baby

1) Ask Others – When we found out we were pregnant, we started asking our friends and family for tips on everything from the pregnancy to hospitals to clothes. The good news is everyone is really happy to give advice, the only downside is it’s conflicting so you have to see commonalities and decide what you care about.

Same is true with projects – ask others why some projects succeed and failed in the past, ask for advice on the project – and then make your own decisions

2) Get the Stakeholders on the Same Page – With a baby on the way everyone seems to have a different opinion on what’s going to happen. Some family members want to be at the hospital, others want to stay for a month, others expect you to ask them when they are wanted. Having clear understanding up-front makes the process better for everyone. Also in the end, there’s one stakeholders – the mom to-be – that is the definitive person.

Same is true in a project – get stakeholders on the same page, but also there is often one person who is the definitive person.

3) Know What You Want – After reading a lot of books and attending classes, we have an idea of what we want out of the birth. And that’s documented in a requested birth process that we shared with our midwives and the hospital. Any good projects should be clear on what they want and how they want to do it – in a birthing process, some may have a requirement of no medications or only the father in room.

Same is true in a project – you may be under certain rules on materials to use or procedures (only build on certain days, etc)

4) Be Flexible – Even the best made plans are there to be changed. For all the work on writing down the requested birth process, we are both aware that it may radically change once the process starts.

Same is true in any major project – you should have a good plan for the project but it will always change. There are always variables you never thought about or are outside of your control.

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Deb Green

Very true Steve, especially #4: Be flexible. Know that in the end, the ultimate outcome is the project completion (or in the case of birth, a happy healthy mom and baby!). Don’t get so caught up in how you get there that you lose sight of the finish line.

CONGRATULATIONS! Many good thoughts and well wishes!

Lori Zipes

Love that hilarious photo! Congratulations on your pending addition. Keep us all posted & get ready for your next project -18 year duration, give or take!

Christine Jung

I’m also in the same situation (but I’m the one carrying the baby). One thing I’m scared of, is that if 80% of all projects end over budget or late, I hope that this “project” doesn’t follow that same statistic! Let me be that 20%!