This blog post is about past projects that I have worked on that did not succeed. What we have learned so far in the course is that a project is “a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product or service” (Portny, Mantel, Meredith, Shafer & Sutton, 2008). “A project has a distinct beginning and end” (Russell, 2000); otherwise it probably is a process.

Looking in my personal life I have worked on various projects; wallpapering a room, creating a couple of websites (for church and for line dance group), and planning several parties (birthday, wedding). Those projects were successful, mostly because I am a structured person that even if I do not write project plans, creating a budget and keeping track of time; I will do does things in my head.

Looking at my professional life I have not been involved in any project, besides the one we did when I was a student. That was in a course of project work, and there we did make project plans, risk analysis and developed a software application to an external client. Since we learned how to work in a project we of course had some issues on the way, but the result was a success.

Russell (2000) also write “whether it is developing a new course, adapting an existing course, finding the right self-paced solution, rolling out the right training administration program, or hiring the right external supplier, you are constantly working on projects”. I have never considered those tasks as project since that is my everyday work. Mostly because I am both the Subject Matter Expert (SME), the Instructional Designer (ID) and instructor at the same time. As a teacher in a Swedish University, you are all these roles. There is no ID to go to with your request of developing a new course or adapting an existing; it is my job as the teacher. Problem is that, if I look at my work right today, I handling past, present and future courses at the same time. I have to correct and give feedback and grades to students in the course that ended Sunday. I also am handling the students in the new course that started Monday (I will soon have exercise time with them). As soon as I find time I also have to plan for the course I am assigned to that starts in January, which is totally new to me, and I have to learn the subject to be able to teach it. Where is the time to actually do planning, organizing and controlling the work? You just find time here and there, and do it as well as you can, hoping for the best.

 

References

Portny, S. E., Mantel, S. J., Meredith, J. R., Shafer, S. M., Sutton, M. M., & Kramer, B. E. (2008). Project management: Planning, scheduling, and controlling projects. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Russell, L. (2000). Project management for trainers. Alexandria, VA: ASTD Press.

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