I love watermelon. The red and juicier, the better.
You know what I don’t love? Watermelon projects – Green on the outside, but Red on the inside.
In project management, the PMO status update that sends chills up my spine is “Green and Stable!”.
The louder and more confidently it’s stated, the chillier my spine.
Something is amiss if your project is truly THAT “green and stable”.
Sitting on that fruit counter, stacked nicely in a pyramid – those melons look perfect.
Organized by program, or maybe by project manager – they stack nicely. Someone has done their homework getting this report, this RAG (Red, Amber, Green) status, looking nice for the customer.
Then someone tries to pick a watermelon from the bottom of the list.
“Heck NO you can’t pick that big project at the bottom!”
“If you pick that one, it will bring the whole display crashing to the ground!”
Instead of watermelon, let’s serve our stakeholders Fruit Salad.
We’re all familiar with Canned fruit salad.
Peaches, pears, grapes, pineapple, and cherries!
If you know, you know!
Peaches – Yum!!!
Let your peaches be your scope. Charter? Scope Statement? Requirements? Make sure it’s real, documented and has been signed off by the sponsor. Print those peaches out – for everyone to see! Hear ye! Hear ye! These are the peaches of this project!
The Pears – ahh – the “plan”. Some of us hate pears – but they MUST be in the fruit salad. Don’t let your project be without the pears. Even if the pears are big chunks, we like to call milestones. Get your pears in the fruit salad!
The Grapes are the Tasks – and it’s a snack everyone loves.
Give your team their tasks! They want their grapes. It’s your responsibility to make sure they have and eat their grapes!
- Make sure they tie back to a pear (milestone).
- Make sure everyone has some grapes and they know how many grapes need to be eaten for the fruit salad to be a success!
Pineapple are your Issues – The things that are holding you and your pears back!
Pineapples can be pulled out and eaten separately or eaten with the others – but they need to be your focus. They need to be a staple of your fruit salad!
The Cherries – The Cherries!
We don’t LOVE the cherries, but if they’re missing – our customer will be letting us know!
The cherries are the communication – not just the one cherry at the end of the week – but let there be a few cherries throughout the week.
When you eat the cherry, you pause and savor it (or hate it) but it’s memorable enough that you are either satisfied that the fruit salad had cherries, or you are concerned that there were no cherries in your fruit salad!
Fruit Salad is the best way to give your customers their weekly prescribed servings of fruit!
While watermelons stack nicely, I think your customers will be much more satisfied if we serve them canned Fruit Salad!