Tiny Cogs

Putting together a tender response is a perfect example of when to use a project plan. A deadline has to be met. A number of people are involved. One activity depends on another. It can all go horribly wrong.

As the project manager it would be reasonable for you to expect that others, responsible for smaller elements, would make sure that they complete their tasks on time. After all, their task is not particularly demanding. On the contrary, quite often they de-prioritise their task, and it completely passes them by.

So, my tips are twofold. If you are the project manager always build in prompts to remind people of their commitments. If you are a contributor to the project be aware of the bigger picture and prioritise your task in accordance with the importance of the project as a whole. However insignificant it may seem to you it may be a tiny, but crucial, cog in the machine.

No! Wrong approach! Doomed to fail!!

We all know this, but sometimes it is very difficult to avoid falling into the trap. Much as you resent having to completely reschedule your workload at the drop of a hat, it is the only way to do it.

My tip is this; if you are going to submit a tender it will have to be completed, and completed well, within the next three and a half weeks. You have to work your schedule around it and all those other important and urgent tasks you have to do – not the other way round. If you don’t take this approach it will all be left to the last minute… and we all know the potential consequences of that!

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