Project Planning really works! OMG!


Musikscoolers ready to face the music

Last week I had the honour of working with a team of 15 facilitators from our Musikscool network.  We were working on our biggest project to date, and it was quite the most energising and scary thing I have done in a long while.

Here’s the brief we were given by the Conference Director:

“Get 500 sixteen year olds into our Sports Hall, have them learn a piece of music and practice it so that 90 minutes later you can film it in sufficient quality that it can be used to raise money for charity.   Oh, and then work out a plan for how they can then get £50,000 together by Christmas to build a school in Africa.”

The biggest event we have ever run at Musikscool was for 130 people at Cisco, so this brief required us to think on a whole new level.  Fortunately we had plenty of time to think about it, and we quickly recognised that a proper project plan was needed.  Our usual “we know what we’re doing and we don’t scare easy” approach simply would not be acceptable on something on this scale.

So guess what: we made a plan.  Completely flying in the face of our preferences (most Musikscoolers are Myers Briggs ENFP‘s, which means they thrive on chaos, are quickly bored, love a crisis and don’t do detail), we put together a project team, ably led by our Project Management guru (and drummer) Spencer Holmes.

A couple of months later (last week) we showed up and executed the plan.  And it worked!!!!  The results are, we think, amazing, and it was like being in front of a steam train at full speed (especially when the students from Africa got going!).  Quite the most uplifting couple of hours that I can remember.  Decide for yourself:

The thing is, I was more relaxed on this event than on any other I have run.  So I felt the benefits of planning, and being surrounded by people who also knew the plan.  I really must do this a bit more often: maybe I give myself pressure I don’t need to, because I think of myself as an expert at “winging it”.  It might make things a bit more predictable for me, but so what?  Maybe I can enjoy other aspects more if I give myself more headspace.  They say that life is a journey, and I think I’ve just proved to myself that a bit more “J” (planning and organising) could be a worthwhile experiment.

Must go, I’ve got some lists to write.

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About Michael Brown Training

I'm a business skills trainer, facilitator and coach. I've been helping people to learn for 16 years, working all around the world on topics such as Negotiation, Conflict Handling, Sales, Leadership, Consulting and Personal Effectiveness. I'm an ENFP, constantly looking for new and inspiring things to do. I love my job for its variety and the stimulation I get from it, and spend most of my time seeing how far we can go with the subjects we work on in the training room. I've recently started a new venture in making video on how NOT to do things, which you can find at www.hownot2.com
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