The 6 Stages of a Project

The first week of my very first media job, a friend sent me a short list called ‘The 6 Stages of a Project’.  It said that every project goes like this…

  1. Enthusiasm
  2. Disillusionment
  3. Panic
  4. Search for the Guilty
  5. Punishment of the Innocent
  6. Praise and Enthusiasm for the Uninvolved

It seemed funny at the time, yet over the years, the list seems almost too true – especially when a business initiative or ‘project’ doesn’t go smoothly or when it hits unexpected setbacks.

And, it’s been on my mind lately as unsettled financial markets have generated nervousness in media and digital businesses.  

Broadcast media are worried that they may not transition effectively to digital media.  And, digital media are worried about how to make their business models work or about a possible slowdown in the extraordinary growth of internet advertising.

Both broadcast and digital media know that they can’t grow without the success of new initiatives or ‘projects’ within their businesses.  And, they are nervous because new initiatives or ‘projects’ carry risk and cost.

Already, some are slipping from Enthusiasm to Disillusionment or even outright Panic.  When they do, they take their eye off the ball.  They derail important projects because of bad budgeting, wrong focus or a misreading of what’s really happening in their space.

There are so many examples in radio, newspapers, at Microsoft and Yahoo, and in many ‘me-too’ online businesses.

This seems to be a critical time to keep focused on Enthusiasm with your initiatives or ‘projects’.  To look forward.  To give employees a sense of purpose that they are building a better customer experience.  And, to walk the talk.

When I think of companies who turned Enthusiasm about their ‘projects’ into big successes, I think of Pixar, NewsCorp, Google, Harpo, and Amazon among others. We can learn a lot from them.

To get through this choppy financial period and emerge a winner will require a lot of focus on Enthusiasm.


2 Responses

  1. The HD Radio Alliance is blaming broadcasters, and iBiquity is blaming the HD Radio Alliance:

  2. John Parikhal —

    Jim Thompson has asked me to forward you the attached information announcing the establishment of the Bill Drake Memorial Tribute Fund.

    I am unable to attach here. Please send your email address.

    Jim Thompson

    Connie McKiernan
    Office Administrator

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