PMPM Kickoff Planning -- Defining your Project Outcome

I didn't think it would take this long to get to our magical project kickoff. But I think that the risk management and root cause analysis and goal setting and agile stuff really lay the groundwork for what comes next.

Over the coming months, I'll be working through the high level PMPM process. Readers can pick a project goal and then work along through the posts. I'm targeting about six months or so, which equates to a good sized project.

However, full disclosure: There will be some magical details and tech that I won't be sharing on the blog. This is because I'm considering whether to actually publish some of my material in a more official way or to maybe to teach small groups or something along those lines. If anyone reading wants access to the additional details, email me at I'll send a "deeper content" email along with each blog post. Note, I'm not charging for the bonus material at this time. What I'm looking for is a) discretion in not distributing the material and b) feedback that can help me test the system.

Even so, there will be a lot to share about classic project management methods, including segues into agile management (lean, Kanban boards, and AB testing) habit formation (and destruction), and other related tools.

And if you aren't interested in any of that, don't worry. There will still be plenty of content on magically sustainable systems, Black Swan and anti-fragile thinking, and occasional rants against what passes for consensus reality these days.

So, to get started, let's talk about your magical working. If you're going to be successful, you have to start with some kind of outcome or result in mind. And your outcome has to be large enough to support the weight of a six - nine month project. This means something that's important for your life, future, or family. Something that's got a lot of pieces, complex dependencies, or multiple lines of attack.

For example:

  • Mitigating a complex risk. If there's a major risk hanging over you, your working could focus on mitigating the risk. For example, the risk of financial ruin. Mitigating this risk can be a very lengthy and complex task, involving elements of avoidance, robustness, and antifragility. It might involve new jobs or careers, business ventures, major lifestyle change, and masses of self-discipline. If you have a household with other members, they are going to have to be deeply involved. Risk Management Part 1, Risk Management Part 2
  • Solving a major problem. If you have a big and complex issue you need to solve, your working would be about implementing the solution. If there are several solutions you've been weighing, part of the work can be choosing the solution and even trying options out (agile style). Once again, we assume that the problem is a big one and the solution equally difficult or complex. Solutions can potentially involve work on your own psychological state, which is difficult work indeed. Problem Solving, Part 1, Problem Solving, Part 2
  • Reaching a big goal. If you've set yourself a Big Hairy Audacious goal, your working can be all about reaching it. This is the most common way of thinking of projects. In fact, setting and reaching goals is what all projects are really about, though the approaches will be slightly different if the goal is solving a problem or mitigating a risk. If you're thinking of the kind of goal that requires a multi-year plan or involves complex moving parts, that's the kind of goal a full on magical working is meant for. Goal Setting

We know that to reach some result we have to break things down into doable, small components. However if you don't keep the small components working together as part of a larger whole, you end up scattered. By using the PMPM framework to manage all the different moving parts, you increase your chances of having all these pieces come together to get you to the correct outcome.

If you want to work along with the posts, start defining your project outcome. The next PMPM post will kick off our magical working. And if you want the deeper content, then email me -- it's free for early adopters.


Popular posts from this blog

Sustain-ability: The Dishes of Life

Robin Hood 2018: Thank Your Local IT Geek

EBER Project -- Crossroads