“Check. Check. Check. Cross-check. Double-check. Okay, what did I miss?” That used to be a synopsis of the dialogue in my mind when I neared the launch of a project. That same dialogue popped into my head again whenever a project hiccup occurred. Because I had to multi-task so often, most of the time my brain was in over-drive and the checklist process, being on automatic, seemed to move rather quickly; but every once in a while a project would launch then stall or launch and flounder a bit and I didn’t know why. So, early on in my career I created a “P Wheel” that helped me check and double-check all of the key components related to a project’s planning, launch, management and evaluation. It was great because the “P” categories always stayed the same. Only the questions within each category changed depending upon the stage of the project (e.g., design, implementation, problem-assessment, evaluation).
Throughout our careers, leaders at every level (e.g., PM’s, supervisors, managers, directors), begin to acquire, read and review volumes of project-specific and general project management-related materials. Methods and theories are expounded upon in literature and gathered from seminars. Yet, we succumb too often to the pressures, persuasions and personal preferences of stakeholders when we quickly launch into project development. Then, we are frustrated or even angry when the project launches in a half-hearted way, stalls or fails in short-term fashion or limps along over time. This, of course, happens because the project’s purpose was either not thought out or was in mis-alignment with the mission-goals-resources of the organization, personal egos (i.e., personal wants, needs, agendas, preferences) took precedence over objective realities, or critical parts of the project planning cycle were over-looked.
As a professional who always tried to put mission-first, focused on client and organizational goals, did my best to keep egos and agendas out of the project management process, I still needed a simple, comprehensive tool that I could use as a checklist of sorts. So I created the P Wheel™ to help remind me of, and ensure that I didn’t overlook, critical components necessary for project success. The P Wheel™ is a simple planning tool now used by thousands of supervisors, managers and senior leaders with in all types of organizations (e.g., corporate/business, government, non-profit, etc.). The P Wheel™ offers leaders at all levels, a quick planning reference guide, ensuring that the planner takes into consideration all factors that may impact, or impinge upon, project, team or organization initiative success. It stimulates thoughts and discussion before a project or initiative is launched, and can be an extraordinarily helpful tool for use during mid-point monitoring and review periods, and during project debriefs and evaluation discussions.
Assuming that you have already ensured that the project your project’s purpose is aligned with organizational or unit/division mission and goals, its’ inception is not merely ego-driven, and stakeholders are not bound to personal preferences, then the P Wheel™ will help you plan for success. If preferences and personal egos are involved, the P Wheel™ will help you weed them out.