New Perspectives For Project Management From The Second Grade: Natalie Goes To College, Blog # 2

 Dave shares a study hour

Welcome back, everyone.  I hope you enjoyed yesterday’s overview. Were you in a snit and snot, dance and prance, rant and rave, hoot and holler or scream and yell of your own yesterday?  If not, maybe today is your lucky day: these things are experien-tial, you know.  And, did you go out and buy Stephen R. Covey’s “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People“?  If not, why not?  Didn’t you put that on your personal and professional growth project management ‘to do list’?  If not, then you are not as highly effective as you thought you were.  Tisk, tisk.  Back to second grade for you. Now, if you did buy it, or re-read it simply because I mentioned it yesterday, then mazalt tov ( in Yiddish congratulations! ).

Today, direct from the second grade playground, we have the project management task story about dear sweet and precious Natalie.  She wants to go to UC Davis: 10 years from now. Cool.  Why UC Davis?  Because, naturally, that’s where I went from 1973 to 1977 as homework king of my dorm.  So, I’m sitting at a picnic table and Natalie comes up to me crying: 

“Sweetheart, what’s up?”

“I got a C on my English paragraph and now they won’t let me in to Davis: sniffle, sniffle”

“No problem, Natalie. I will call the chancellor and have him hold open a place for you in the dorms in September of 2017 and we still have 10 years for you to get A+’s.” 

“Really, Dave?”

“Yup. Let’s get started. Natalie, what is your big vision of your future?” ( sounds like “: begin with the end in mind to me! ). 

“Puppy and kitty doctor.”

 “Ah, veterinarian. Yes? No? Maybe so?”


“Good, let’s get started.  I will help you get into Davis.  Let’s write this down:  veterinarian. That’s called your vision for your future, you know, what you want your future to look like when you graduate from college, right?”

“Right !!”

“So, you have to be the best student and provide the best coursework and research, right?”              ( sounds like ‘mission and purpose’ to me, doesn’t it? )

“Right !!”

And so, what can we learn today from Natalie’s upset this past May? You must define the exact and specific end of your project and then work backwards into it with your big, all-agreed-upon vision and your big, all-agreed mission and purpose, and your big, all-agreed-upon goals, and your big, all-agreed-upon plan and your big, all-agreed-upon pilot programs.  You know what I am talking about, don’t you?  If you are not all agreed, then your project will crash and burn, and back to second grade you all go !  Tomorrow, we will examine a very specific project and pilot program, one from the elementary school where I was on campus for math, English and: theater!  Come on back and feel free to write to me at davemathtutor @




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