I don't mention my day job at Microsoft much in this blog, but recently I found myself involved with some new project initiation work and simultaneously with the tail end of a new product launch.* I felt a bit like my favorite bookends: one pushing hard to get a project underway, the other pushing equally hard to get a project concluded more or less as planned.
Here are the bookends in action, doing their job:
If you are a project manager, do you spend more time and effort at the beginning or end of your projects?
So Many Choices!
The project initiation guy on the left, who I'll call LB, has a special focus: moving an idea from concept to the start of execution. Let's assume that LB is in an organization where the initiation of new projects is done by those with organizational authority to commit resources and sign up the organization for deliverables. LB then steps into the picture, and roughs out the detailed execution plans and schedules. LB is the starter. LB's world at this stage is about operationalizing the abstract--building plans that are plausible to produce something tangible.