Resistance Is Futile
Your last project may have been to market a food product line from Louisiana—full of soul and goodness—which you found easy enough to do. Your team was on the same page, stakeholder communication was without flaw and you even stayed within your budget by shooting on location in New Orleans. You next project, however, is the production design of a 1970s style furniture line and not only will you be working with an entirely new team, you’ve never managed a production line before and the client has been known to be hard to please.
Instead of passing on the project and possibly damaging your career, do what King Stewart, master of change, did. In the 1970s his hits like “Maggie Mae" and “Tonight’s the Night" turned him from a blues band singer to a slicker sounding pop singer. Don’t see the similarities here?
Project managers must be the conductor of every project they take on, no matter the size or experience of the band so to speak. In order to adapt to this new furniture line production venture, you first must learn about your team, what their skill sets include, their backgrounds and experience on similar projects.
Because your team will be taking the furniture build from start to finish, you’ll need to develop new processes than that of a marketing project. This will require embracing those on your team as leaders or facilitators to help you initiate the project plan. While a budget is a budget is a budget, you don’t want the client angry, so this may require you choosing a different budgeting style to stay within the allowed cash budget. It may even mean working with the client’s staff budgeter—an external resource you’ve never worked with before.
And, while you’re orchestrating all of this, the project must still flow with the ease of your last project. The old saying, “you’re only remembered for your last successful project" is certainly true and even if Rod Stewart had bumps along the way, he was able to overcome the old environment and embrace the ever-changing world of music—pop was on the scene now and he had to be a part of it.