GOAL is a four letter word, forget it, think what are your priorities?


A bit extreme I know but let me explain.

This month many of us are busy trying to get a good head start on our resolutions or goals set at the beginning of the month.  Maybe you are using this month to set those goals, be they at work or at home.  Or the HR department is looking an annual objective.  

My challenge to all this is what is the point in setting goals if you do not know your priorities.  I will take a home example, say I decided to set my self a goal of training for and completing an Ironman race.  Great stretching "SMART" goal and I expect this or something similar is being set all around the world.  BUT if you then take a step back and consider what are your priorities for the year it may be that spending time with your family is the highest priority for the year.  If that's the case, training for an Ironman is likely to take you away from your family more than the previous so as a goal on it's own it does not seem to make sense.  it may be that to balance the conflict you have or will reduce time on something else in your life, and that is about balancing our priorities.

One thing I wanted to try to do this year is to reduce my habit of turning to my phone when I have a spare moment and then getting dragged down by the social media/ email / ebay amazon shopping whirlpool.  So I created a new background and lock screen for my phone to help me break the habit.  As you can see above it just asks me the question is what I am about to do on my phone one of my priorities or not, then I can make a conscious decision whether to proceed or not, rather than just following my amygdala looking for dancing cats. you can download a copy of it from my Instagram or Pinterest channels.

To draw the parallel to our project management profession, we have a plan, it will no doubt have a bunch of goals, the project charter will have the objectives of the project.  We can as project managers choose to blindly achieve these goals for our stakeholders and satisfy ourselves that we achieved them, with a satisfying change of the percentage complete column in the Gantt chart to 100%, but is it supporting the company priorities, the wider programmes priorities?   If not then why are we doing it, and we should challenge this and be sure that our goals are in line with our objectives.

Apologies for the foul language, I hope this wittering makes some sense.

All the best 

Nigel

The Sunday Lunch PM


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