In order to write this blog post, it took me a minute to come up with a project that failed. I finally thought of a tragic incidence with a handmade quilt. I am a member of a National Service Organization and we frequently try to come up with creative ways to generate funds for our community service outreach. When I joined the chapter I am currently affiliated with, they were auctioning off a handmade quilt to support out International Awareness program. I promptly volunteered to make the next quilt so as not to burden the chapter with the cost of buying the quilt. All went well in the first part if the project. Since I only had myself to work with, there no issues with the first few phases as outlined by Greer:

  • Phase IDetermine need and feasibility. This has already been completed before my arrival. The need was to raise funds and there was a good chance we could auction it off for the low $5 ticket price.
  • Phase IICreate project plan. This was my task to come up with the design, the budget and the timeline
  • Phase IIICreate Specifications for deliverables. There were no specifications as the chapter would accept whatever I delivered. Just had to be a handmade quilt.
  • Phase IVCreate deliverables. This is where I ran into trouble. I was unable to meet my deadline and due to other outside forces; did not communicate this with the client.
  • Phase VTest and Implement Deliverables. Once the deliverable was completed, the hand off to the client/customer was relative smooth and the end-user was pleased with the project. (I almost had to create an extra quilt I was so late with the first one.) (Greer, 2010)

Overall I believe the project was a success. I created a one-of-a-kind handmade quilt that the winner was pleased with. I had not thought of before (or since for that matter), that artistic endeavors could benefit from the project management process. If I look at it in hindsight (via a post-mortem) I would discover that the planning that goes into creating a quilt can easily be managed by using a project management plan. Hindsight has illuminated the need for constant and clear communication, even if it only a conversation with myself to verify that the project is proceeding as planned and the outcome will be as expected. My project’s biggest failure was in not communicating with my client when it became apparent I was not going to be able to make the original deadline and to negotiate a new timeline if possible. I also could have recruited team members to assist me in completing interim tasks such as cutting and piecing quilt squares and appliqueing.

In case anyone is interested. Here is the finished product:

 

 IMG_2304 Quilt 2012

 

Reference:

Greer, M. (2010). The Project Management Minimalist: Just Enough PM to Rock Your Projects! Laureate Education.