Managing Complex Projects: What’s Holding You Back?


Have you ever managed or been part of a project that caused you, and everyone else on the team, unbearable frustration? I remember managing a complex high-tech sales project worth millions of dollars where I literally wanted to grow more hair just so I could pull it out.

And if you have ever experience this level of frustration with either a business or personal project, then here is one sure way to help you make better decisions, grow as a leader, and complete your projects effectively and efficiently. Ask yourself — and your team — the following question (its really two questions — sort of):

What would have to be true for this choice (or person) to be the best option?

If-Then?” your answer to death.

For example, I was recently delivering a keynote speech to a group of very successful healthcare executives at their annual association leadership conference. After my speech, one of the executives asked me questions on how to build a strong team to help her manage a very complex healthcare project. I shared with her the “filter question” above as a way of helping her decide on who was best to be on her team.

Because the most important resources on any project is the people you have on your team. People fuel your projects! Just like if you owned a high-performance Ferrari, you’d definitely want to put the best, high-grade fuel into your Ferrari to power it. So do the same with the people you surround yourself with — make sure they are the best!

Get Into Action in 3 Simple Steps: (1) Pick one project or decision that is causing you a lot of frustration. (2) Take a look at the people involved and ask yourself the “filter question” above about three of the key personnel involved. (3) Take BOLD action: If people need to be off the project, get rid of them quickly. If you have great people in place, empower them to be great. If you need to attract fresh top talent, read my blog post from last week that shows you how. Here’s the link.

If you’re having a tough time moving a complex project forward effectively and efficiently and/or need help generating answers to the questions above, post a comment below or hit me up on Twitter @mpveltri. I’ll be sure to get back to you right away. And If you liked the ideas presented here, please consider purchasing a copy of my nationwide bestselling book, The Mushin Way to Peak Performance: The Path to Productivity, Balance, and Success. In the book, you will find a whole lot more valuable tools and techniques to help you make better decisions, fuel-inject your leadership, and create responsible results in business and life.