When I first started sailing, I could barely keep the boat pointed in a straight line. It seemed as though it had a mind of its own. However, the reality was that I could not keep up with all the variables that affected the boat. The wind constantly changes direction…and the various forces on the ship, sails, keel, and rudder created a constantly shifting direction upon the helm.
But now…18 months later…I can ignore every instrument and sail completely by watching the tell-tails (small pieces of yarn that react to the wind currents around the sail). The slightest shift of wind pattern causes the yarn to flutter and immediately tells me how to adjust. By watching them, I can stay within a couple of degrees of the right heading at all times.
Most projects have a tell-tail…something that indicates if the project is veering off its heading. Can you find and follow your “project tell-tails”? They include items like:
- Financial variances
- Delays in the critical path
- Unclear expectations or deliverables
- Shifts in the marketplace or SWOT Analysis
Thanks for listening.