Adelaide Greenaway is Projects Practice Lead at 2cloudnine.
After the Christmas and New Year break the great Aussie tradition is to take the family on one last summer road trip before the rhythm of school and work starts up again.
This got me thinking:
What if a typical 2cloudnine project were a road trip?
How would I prepare my passengers (clients) for the journey ahead?
Our projects are journeys of transformation: we take our clients from their current business landscape to a new business landscape – one that they have dreamt about, thought about, read all the brochures and decided it’s where they want to take their business ‘family’.
We find the the best road trips are with cars full of engaged passengers – so let’s fill up the tank, put on our seatbelts and drive!
Before we start, look at the map (project plan): a journey is much quicker and more fun when we have a planned route and can think ahead about our travel distances, stops and stay overs.
- What are we doing and when?
- Where are we stopping along the way?
- Who is involved and in which decisions?
Onto the roles. 2cloudnine is the driver (project team) – we love driving and we’re really good at it – we get heaps of practice! We concentrate, plan our breaks and maintain focus but we need you, the client, to be our guide and to navigate.
The best journeys are taken with passengers that aren’t asleep the whole way. Comment on the scenery – on what you see now, is it what you expected? Are we still heading towards your desired destination? How are you feeling? Do you need a break?
As a driver / navigator team we both look ahead for any possible risks and detours. What’s the weather and traffic like a little way up the road? Will it slow us down – make the trip unpleasant?
But let’s not look too far ahead – if we’re always adjusting for what’s happening at our destination, we may miss what’s right in front of us right now.
There will be bumps in the road. Some of these we know about as we’ve driven this route before. Some are unanticipated and come without warning. When the bumps happen, it’s time to slow down and ease our way through – let’s not turn back now because of a few roadworks!
The best part of a road trip is imagining what you will do when you get there, anticipation is a fantastic energy that keeps us all motivated and excited about our destination.
Remember all the planning about waypoints, rest and pit stops? That’s going to come in handy during the bulk of the journey, especially if we need to make up time. Knowing how long it will take to complete each leg and how much fuel will be required means we can focus on the job at hand: getting there safely.
We’ve carefully picked points on the map that fit the journey and let us look back on the ground we’ve covered and the remaining distance still to go. At these stops we can look back at the journey so far and what we can change now to improve our experience.
As the final destination draws into sight, there’s often a flurry of activity and decisions to be made.
‘We can stop right here – this place is great, it has everything we need!’ or ‘Hold on…when we booked this I didn’t realise that this place doesn’t have a pool…’
Changing your mind is OK but just make sure you plan for it. While we don’t know ‘what’ will change, we can make a plan that allows for change. Is there room in our budget? Will the increased travel shorten my holiday too much be able to enjoy it? Are we really going to sit in the car another four hours to get to where I really want to go?
The great thing about road trips (and projects) is they are not a once-off and there is always time to plan for the next road trip. Always time to look for where you want to go next. Always time to learn from this road trip and adjust for the next one.
Remember, the journey can be just as rewarding as the destination!