Planning a trip to Disney World takes time, effort, and serious considerations of all activities you want to accomplish while there. It’s its own project. It takes proper project management. What parks do you want to go to and when? In those parks, what rides do you prioritize? Do you do the meets and greets? If so, which characters are you going to make sure you get a picture with? We haven’t even talked about are you staying on property or not! Which hotel do you stay in? How are you getting to the parks? The questions could go on and on and on.
When you begin to realize the amount of preparation that simply goes into planning a vacation to Disney World, you understand what project managers go through when they are assigned a new project. They must take time, effort, and serious consideration for what are the priorities and when it needs to be accomplished by. Now there is a principle that every project manager must learn in order to do proper project management; in fact, it is imperative to the success of completing the project on time. The principle is known as Brooks Law.
Brooks Law essentially states that if you add manpower to a project too late in the process, it would take the project longer to complete. Similarly, like a trip to Disney World, improper planning will cause you to be late to rides, meet and greets, and special events. Thus, making your vacation less enjoyable. That is why it takes proper planning and an effective project manager to successfully complete a project on time.
Now how does one avoid Brooks Law? In an oversimplification, put more people on the project at the BEGINNING rather than when you realize the project will not be completed on time. If you think it’ll take 3 people to complete a project, put 6 on it. That way, as the project progresses you can assess whether you still need all 6. If you do not, you run the risk of realizing the project will take much longer to complete because of the workload. Project managers and executives will also not need to worry about attempting to bring new hires up to speed and training them which is a massive time waste and continues to postpone the completion of the project. By putting more people on to start you do not have to risk time lost later because the original team already had sufficient time to understand the scope of the project and will get it done quicker than by throwing new people on a project.
With proper project management, you never know how the crowds (problems) are going to be on any given day. By being over prepared, you’ll have a greater chance of success. Therefore, next time you realize you need a new project completed, make sure to take the same approach you would to a complicated vacation at Disney World. Plan ahead and get your Genie Pass and Lightning Lane at the beginning, rather than needing to wait in the queue of Brooks Law.