A perfect project is a project that that you have completed on time and without spending more money than you planned to spend. You were able to get the project completed by the time you promised or by the time you dreamed of having it done. You also estimated the exact amount of money that you would need to spend or you spent even less. In a perfect project you are feeling pretty darn awesome at the end.
Here’s the rundown of the three qualities of a perfect project.
1. You Finished On Time
When planning your projects you always dream that you’re going to be able to get it done in the amount of time that you have (either due to your own schedule or someone else’s requirements), while maintaining the quality that you desire and without having any issues or problems or other things that can stress you out. In a perfect project, you finished on time or even a little earlier. Your final product or service was A-MA-ZING! There may have been a few hiccups in the process, and they might have slowed down your progress a little, but you planned your time carefully and you were still able to meet your due date!
2. You Finished On Budget (with a Bonus)
You didn’t spend more money than you planned, or better yet – you spent even less! You’re feeling really good about yourself for having stayed within budget or even having saved a few dollars. Typically, when you stay within the budget that you estimated for your project, this means you didn’t add in any extra goodies (e.g., “Hmmm, now that I see how this is looking, I think I’ll add in some gold-plating to make it more fabulous!”) or you didn’t have any “oopsies” that you didn’t account for (e.g. “How could I forget I needed to purchase boxes for shipping?!”). And that’s a big bonus!
3. You Felt Great MUCH of the Time
In a perfect project, much of the time (and I’m not saying all of the time or most of the time, but much of the time), the project runs very smoothly because you feel great about many of the tasks that you have to do. You definitely won’t enjoy all of the tasks, and that’s completely normal. However a perfect project is different for everyone as far as the tasks go.
Some people will enjoy doing certain tasks for the project while other people will dislike those very same tasks. For them, if their task list or their to do list is filled with tasks that they don’t enjoy, the project may not be so perfect. For example, if my project were a fundraising event and I was tasked with asking people for donations, doing those tasks would not make the project so perfect for me because I would be simply miserable. Asking for donations is not something I feel great about. However there are some people who really enjoy a big task of reaching out to others, selling their idea for fundraisers and getting donations and there is a huge sense of accomplishment when doing that task. If their to do list is filled with those type of tasks, then they are feeling great much of the time! Same project, same tasks – perfect for some, not so perfect for others.
If you managed to fill your project task list with work that you felt great about, and you finished on time and on budget – congrats, you had a perfect project!
Best of All: You Feel Awesome at the End
Even though we want to feel great while completing our projects, it’s important to think about the true end game. What is it that you really, really want at the end of the project? It could mean that you want a sense of accomplishment, perhaps you want recognition or perhaps you just want to get paid! In the case of a project that you felt stressed out until the very last day – a sense of accomplishment or recognition or a pay check could make it all worth it! At the end of a perfect project, you’re feeling AWESOME because you got what you wanted!
Of course, not all projects are perfect. And sometimes there are consequences that we have to pay for taking too long or spending too much. Proper project planning does help to ensure your schedule and budget are realistic and that you are doing tasks that you enjoy. We will talk about project planning in future posts.
Can you think of a project that you felt was perfect? Please share in the comments below.