I want to draw your attention to a strange and mysterious kind of person. They are both extremely tidy and disgustingly messy. I’ve never observed them in action, but see the results of their work every day when I’m out walking.

These people own dogs. They take their dogs out walking. They, quite reasonably, allow their dogs to have a poo. They then take out a pre-prepared poo-bag, scoop up the poo in the bag, and tie up the handles.

Finally, they chuck the newly-filled poo-bag into the nearest hedge.

I have so many questions. Why, having done all the hard work, don’t they simply take the poo-bag to the nearest dog bin? Do they feel any guilt when they mess up their local neighbourhood, or do they let out a little giggle as they idly fling the small black bag over their shoulder? Do they come out under the cover of the night to carry out this clandestine activity, or do they hide in plain sight in the middle of the day?

What is the link to business from this mini-rant? Well, last year I worked with a company on a new cross-functional programme. At the end of the process, the company had agreed to pursuing 7 new projects to deliver the programme goals. As a result, teams have been set up, resources set aside and further meetings have been held.

But none of the projects have yet started.

Non-project projects are the poo-bags of the corporate world. They mess up and despoil the organisational environment, creating frustration and a sense of helplessness in equal measure.

Setting up a new project is the easy bit. But a project is only ‘in the bag’ when you are regularly ensuring that progress is being made, issues resolved and results delivered. 

How tidy and free from project litter is your business?

Off The Record: Diamond Dogs by David Bowie

Well, she’s come, been and gone

Come out of the garden, baby

You’ll catch your death in the fog

Young girl, they call them the Diamond Dogs

Young girl, they call them the Diamond Dogs

© Stuart Cross 2021. All rights reserved.