Project Management 1: What is it?

Brida Audio
Brida Audio
Project Management 1: What is it?

Igor hosts the first in a series about Project Management. With Ritesh in Bangalore and Frank in France.

Frank And we are live, Igor. It’s all yours.

Igor We are live. So I guess the goal is to talk about project management, right? And this is such an interesting topic because it’s very complex, like more complex than people think that it is. And at the same time, it’s so interesting because it kind of permeates a lot of our life even when we don’t realize it. So my goal is to present a few concepts. I don’t want to be technical because that’s not the goal and I don’t think it’s useful most of the times. And I also expect it to be dynamic. So yeah, let’s make it a conversation about project management and not like a speaking gig for Igor. Because I think we can learn more this way.

Frank We can challenge you. We can discuss. We can explore different avenues. That’s the best way, yeah.

Igor Cool. And feel free to make questions, right? So I am fortunate enough to have experience across many niches, industries, type of clients because I had marketing agency in the past.

So yeah, by exploring real case scenarios, we can learn quite a bit, especially when it comes to the real application of project management, which we’re going to talk about not today because I’m planning to have like a dedicated hour for that.

But there is a huge difference between what you read about project management, like the theory, the certifications, et cetera, and the real life of project management.

So yeah, we’re going to discuss everything. We should discuss about that.

Frank Actually, if I can chuck a question here, is doing everything in projects really the best way?

Igor Good question. And no, that’s not always the best way.

And I explore why throughout this conversation. But that’s a really good question.

And a good start, if you ask ten project managers what is project management, you’re going to get fifteen answers, different answers. Because it’s the kind of thing that there are definitions out there. If you search on Google, you’re going to find definitions. But like everyone defines it as the way it conveys each one. So, it’s not an easy definition.

And I want to start this conversation understanding what you understand as project management before I talk about what I understand what is project management. So yeah, so imagine you are in a social event, you are in a dinner. I will start with Ritesh.

Imagine you are in a dinner, and you ask someone what you do for a living and this person says, oh, I am a project manager. So how do you imagine the routine of this person? What this person exactly does? What would you think?

Ritesh So I think that this person is responsible to provide some services and he is responsible to make the thing happen. So from the start, how those things can be developed or I’m thinking about software industries. So he is a person who is leading the project to make from the start, from the scratch to the final delivery.

Igor Nice. What about you, Frank?

Frank I’ve been involved in some projects in the automotive industry, albeit 15, 20, 25 years ago. And basically, I concur with what Ritesh said. There is a person who desperately tries to get something achieved with limited resources, with limited time. And this person has to manage not only the task, but he also has to manage a lot of people who are involved in this task. Some of them might not actually be in the same country as he is. So that you get this international complexity thrown in for good measure. And it’s not just that the project manager has to somehow get this task achieved, but then he has to justify it to all other people who may not actually be involved directly in this project.

And I spent a lot of time working with project controllers who then hold up the mirror and say, well, this is what it’s costing you and this is what the budget is. And this is the general situation of our company, so you need to cut costs. And so, projects are usually quite a frightening experience. And I have yet to see a project that is delivered on time and in budget.

Igor Me too.

Frank And the underlying problem is that even before the project is kicked off, you are in a negotiating phase. Usually some sort of tenders are issued and everybody wants to undercut everybody else. And so a tender is then awarded and everybody knows that basically it’s not worth the paper it’s written on, for the simple reason that everybody knows that the project is under-financed, under-budgeted and not given enough time. And so I tend to view project management with a degree of scepticism, because it really is a question of can these people cooperate or not and I find it difficult. Even in my own little environment here in the Brida Community, I’ve started introducing projects and it’s an interesting experience.

Igor Yeah, that’s very interesting. That’s a good answer and there are a lot of things to talk about.

So I will talk about definitions, but before talking about explaining the definitions and how I see project management, I want to address the last thing you said, because it’s very important and maybe I will be able to change our mind on that.

So when you talk about project management, if you read about it, if you do an online course, no one will tell you that, but in the end of the day, everyone who works with project management, like in a real life situation, everyone knows, pretty much everyone knows that deadlines won’t be met, budgets won’t be met.

The concept of the project will change a lot throughout time. Kind of everyone knows that. So you ask, okay, so why we should care about project management?

And the reality is that someone should be responsible for managing this project to assure it will happen, like the output will happen. So the value of project management, like in a real life situation, is that you assure you’re going to see output. Like the idea won’t be lost, the initial concept won’t be lost, like people won’t make it a totally different thing that the leadership conceptualized in the beginning. So the deadlines, the budget, the requirements, like a lot of those technical details, they kind of don’t matter in real life.

What matters is the output. So that’s how I think about project management.

Because if you understand project management as meeting deadlines, budget, requirements, like you’re going to be frustrated. That’s not like theoretically, that’s what project management, you know what I mean? But in practice, the importance is like someone should be responsible of making sure there’s output from this project.

Because a project manager, like, of course, it will vary company by company, but most of the time, at least in good companies, their work is measured by output. It’s not measured by other things like output. Do we see output? Okay, so you are doing your job. We don’t see output. Let’s say you have, there are a lot of ideas, a lot of projects going on in parallel within a company, but we don’t see output. Nothing happens. One year, two years, nothing happens. Then the project manager is not doing their job. So it’s an important difference.

I used to have a teacher many years ago. It was when I studied dairy technology. So like over ten years ago, he would say that the goal of having a plan is not to follow the plan. It’s to make sure you are doing something, right? Because if you don’t have a plan, you are not doing anything.

If you are doing something, you are improvising, which is usually not a good idea in a lot of contexts. So it’s important to understand this scenario. Does it make sense or not? I wasn’t clear enough.

Ritesh It makes sense. And one question I just came in my mind. So when you said that the project manager’s responsibility is to make things happen, and even it costs the budget and everything goes beyond his control. So are the project managers not responsible about the budgeting things or they don’t care about the budget or the timeline? Because what do you think?

Igor Yeah, so I think they are responsible, but their job is not measured by it. So they are responsible, but what matters is the output. Let’s say it’s a secondary indicator, not the main indicator.

Of course, in real life, right? So you can read. If you go through the PMI certification, which is like the biggest certification in the market, it’s like the Product Management Institute. It’s very hard in the sense that you have to read a lot, memorize a lot of things. If you go through the certification, you’re going to read a lot of very detailed stuff about budgeting, setting deadlines, etc. So it’s important, but I guarantee that in real life, what matters is output.

Imagine, for instance, like Apple, right? Apple developed the Vision Pro, right? I was reading that the Vision Pro was like over five times the initial budget. But it was important, but kind of doesn’t matter because now they have the Vision Pro, like the output happened, right?

That’s how it happens in a real-life scenario. I never saw someone being fired because they didn’t meet the budget. I have seen people being fired because they didn’t have output.

Frank So for me, it begs the question, if you go to PMI and all these project management forces that float around, the focus always seems to be on the project process, the milestones, the quality gates and whatever else goes into it. But at the end of the day, a project manager cannot do anything and move anything and produce any output unless he has a team of people and he understands the dynamics of this team.

And there will be some project people, some stakeholders in the project who will be motivated by it. There will be some stakeholders who say, well, I’m just doing my job nine to five, I’m the mortgage payer. So that’s what I’m going to do.

Yeah, so I’ve always seen project management courses in the light of fulfil the process, try and get in on budget, come in on time. But in actual fact, nothing can happen without the people. So, I’m just wondering if the definition of this whole thing is actually wrong. Maybe it should not be project management, it should be people project management or just bring in the people somewhere.

Igor That’s a good opportunity to jump into the definitions, right? So I read the definition from PMI, right? There are like hundreds, maybe thousands of definitions out there. But if we have to choose one, let’s choose the main authority, which is PMI. So let me read the definition as they define project management.

Okay, they define project management as the art of coordinating resources and directing on disciplinary groups so that the work performed by each group accumulates into multidisciplinary team effort that achieves the desired objectives or contracted scope of work on time and within budget.

So this definition is like bullshit, but there is a part that makes sense. So they start with the art of coordinating resources and directing on disciplinary groups. So the important word here is the art, right?

And I believe that the reason they use the word art is because they understand, they have to understand because otherwise people wouldn’t trust them, that project management is not only about technical hard skills.

It’s also about how it’s soft skills, right? Dealing with people. Would you guys agree? Like, if I define something as art, does it make sense to understand that it goes beyond the technical terms, spreadsheets, et cetera?

Because that’s my understanding of the art, why they use the word art.

Ritesh Yes. So art is not about the things you do. There is a lot of things involved regarding the finest details. And when we are talking about these project things, we have seen or I have come across people who are very good at their job skills especially, but they were not good in coordinating with people. And sometimes I see that people require to give, delegate their responsibility to do some work because a person cannot handle everything. He has to delegate his work. And in that situation, the people coordination and people management requires.

And how you approach, sometimes we see that the person who is asking, the way he asks, you can’t say no, and you take it as your own responsibility. Even this is not your work, but because of the way the person conveys his message, you take it on yourself and try to finish things. So I think that this is art or is a part of a softer skill.

Igor Good. And Frank, are you satisfied with the use of the word art to address this issue of project management not being only technical stuff like requiring? And we’re going to talk about that, but being mostly about people?

Frank Yes and no. And I’m going to deliberately play the devil’s advocate card.

Igor That’s cool. I’m used to that. And I like it.

Frank So there was a phase and I have difficulty pinpointing it, but art was one of these fashionable words to use in business. You had the art of managing, the art of conversation, you had the art of accounting, everything was all of a sudden very artful to try and make this whole thing more human, more creative, more fuzzy, more wishy-washy, more abstract.

And fundamentally, I suppose, yes, I would agree that it’s not a bad word. I can’t remember if the following word that I’m going to suggest came up in this definition. Ritesh just used it, but I’m not sure whether he actually knows the consequences of this.

Whatever you do, it requires a skill. An artist has a skill. A businessman has a skill. We all have skills. And it’s the question whether we should focus on this fuzzy-washy, soft, gooey thing called art, which is beautiful, wonderful, necessary, we need it in our lives. But in order to get something done, whatever this project is, launching a new product, building some infrastructure things or something, requires skill and dedication. And this is where I think the focus should be. If you have highly skilled people, they will produce a vision pro. And they will be able to justify the fact that they are over budget because they will have skillfully produced something which the whole IT sector knows will not sell.

And that’s not the idea of Vision Pro. It’s simply to put the product in the market and say, this is the benchmark. This is what we have done. Now the rest of you guys, figure something out and produce something equally good at a fraction of the price. Because no one is going to buy a $3,000 product except for a couple of techies. And that’s the skill.

So if you redefine this, and maybe you should try this Igor, read the definition but put the word skill at the beginning and see what happens. Can you just read the definition and not say the art of whatever it follows but the skill?

Igor Of course. So let’s do it. So project management is the skill of coordinating resources and directing a disciplinary group so that the work performed by each group accumulates into a multidisciplinary team, efforts that achieve the desired objectives or contracted scope of work on the time and within budget.

So yes, I think we are on the same page. But I think we understand art as different things. And it’s not the point of the conversation to define art. But the way I see art and the way I think they added this word in the definition is because when you think about artists, so what are the underlying skill, maybe not skill, but what’s the underlying work of artists?

It’s using their intuition, which is something they built in different forms, experience, skills, studying, et cetera, but using their intuition to make unique things. So that’s why I think the word art is important because when you talk about project management, if you define it as a skill, let’s just use examples.

So let’s imagine you are a very good engineer, you are a very good programmer, you are very good, let’s say even like you are good with spreadsheets. That’s required. But that’s not enough to make things happen because to make things happen in a meaningful way, you need to coordinate with other people.

And then it comes the soft skills, which are what I would attribute at least 90% of the work of a project manager to soft skills. No joke, because hard skills, you can learn fast, you can start fast, like AI will probably replace you on that soon, if not replace it yet.

So like the soft skills, and I can say, I will talk about a few examples, but I can mention like, no joke, like hundreds of examples in which I saw that soft skills in project management was what changed the game. Like in a positive sense, right?

One example, which is very recent for me, it’s like I am a marketer, right? So I am a kind of, I don’t like to label this kind of stuff, but for educational purpose, I am a performance marketer.

So I like numbers, like I like to see reports, I like to see where are the bottlenecks in a market funnel, I like to run ads, optimize ads, build dashboards, I am this kind of marketer, right?

And for a lot of things, I have many skills that are valuable, and for a lot of things I can do very quick, I have a high degree of confidence, a high level of confidence that a lot of things I want to do are the right thing to do, but I have to work with other people because I am in a company and to make big things, I can’t do it myself, right?

And most of my time when I have an idea and I want to implement this idea involves convincing people, like educating other stakeholders, the engineers, the owner of the company, people, the copywriter, like educating them of like in my reasoning.

So I can’t just say, okay, let’s do that because I think that’s right, so I have to explain why. And in this process of explaining why, it requires me like oratory skills, it requires me storytelling, it requires me like empathy, leadership. And in most of the projects I have worked, like in big projects, that was the most important skills.

I have seen people like with no skills, like absolutely no technical skills, being able to change completely the direction of a company, not a project, like a company, because they were able to navigate those skills that sometimes we underestimate when we talk about project management.

So you are right, like both of you are right when you understand that project management is this thing that it requires skills, like hard skills, but and I think it will just be more evident in the future, like what matters, like how you coordinate people towards the goal and how do you use those skills.

Because if you put like five, let’s say you put five engineers, the best engineers in the world to get in the room, like unless at least one of them have those soft skills, I don’t think you won’t see any output. Like I have worked with software engineers recently, and I will tell you, it’s almost impossible to get something done with those guys because they are very technical. Like they will discuss like a line of code for ten hours. They will overthink any step you take in the project, in the product, so you need someone to guide everyone.

So that’s the point. That’s the definition of project management, like it’s the art of making things happening. It’s kind of cliché to say that, but I can’t think of any other definition because it’s art, it requires skills, it requires intuition, experience, et cetera, leadership.

And the output, like the way your work is measured, it’s the output. It’s things happening, right? It’s not planning. Like no one hire a project manager to plan something, like they hire a project manager to guarantee or at least increase the chance of the things that the company wants to achieve will happen in the period they expected.

Does that make sense?


Somehow, yeah.

Frank Yeah, somehow. And I suppose that’s the creative side. I just want to note that in your definition just now, the word skills came up quite often.

Igor Yes, because it’s necessary. It’s like a painter, right? So imagine Leonardo da Vinci, like he’s a master of like technical knowledge about colours, about lighting, like he wasn’t like someone with just intuition, right?

Frank No, no. Yeah, okay. So somehow somebody will get something done at a price in time or slightly beyond time and it’s all very messy. But at the end, there is an output of some description. And the rest remains a mystery because nobody can actually understand how did this happen

Igor Yeah, well, you can track all these steps that like when it’s done, you can rationalize, right? But when it’s happening, it’s kind of a mess, to be honest, like regardless of the company size.

Frank Hindsight is a wonderful thing.

Igor Yeah, exactly. Once it happens, you can explain everything, right? But when it’s happening, it’s another game.

Oh, go ahead.

Frank No, no. So we’re just saying we’ve got the definition more or less on par. I think we can all more or less agree to it. But I cut you off mid-flow.

Igor Oh, no, I would just conclude like about the definition part, which is very important to restarting and that’s why I chose to restart with that.

If you think about that, like let’s imagine a bridge, right? It requires so many technical skills, right? I have no idea how to build a bridge, but I’m sure there are a lot of things involved, like a lot of things from engineering to architecture, whatever, right? But it’s very rare to find like a bridge that it’s exactly the same as other bridge. Like they are mostly different, right? Most of the times bridges are different.

So why they are different? Because the people involved in the project, like they have intuition, they have experience, they want to see things unique.

So that for me, like supports the idea that project management, it also has a level of intuition, experience it should have. Otherwise, if it wasn’t necessary, like basically everything you have would be the same because people would just add the technical skills to have the output and that’s it. Yeah, just want to use this as an example.

Frank Yeah. And the interesting thing is, especially sort of in my understanding of software development is that everything is different, but underneath all of that you have to have the same standards, the same processes, the same agreements. Yeah. And if you go back to my old stomping ground, the car industry, you would think that a car is a car is a car is a car.

Yeah. And yes, they may all look different because you have designers who will then let rip whatever they have in terms of creative talent and what the authorities will allow a car to look like and have etc. But the engine and the chassis are all pretty much the same. In actual fact, the majority of these huge car producers actually use the same platforms on which they construct their cars.

They may be competitors on the outside, but inside, because of cost optimization, optimizing of efficiency, they basically use the same fundamental structure and then just add their own stuff on top to make it look a little bit different. And that’s the fascinating part. There’s a lot of things that are hidden in all of this. A highly efficient world which hides a creative world or a highly creative world which hides a highly efficient world goes each way.

Igor Yeah. And we’re going to get into more details about prioritization, setting goals and like those steps of project management and how a life of a project manager looks like, like in our next conversations. But for this conversation, I want to introduce like the biggest challenge of every project manager in the market, like the biggest challenge. There is a saying that I really like and I use that all the time because it’s perfect, which is like there are three fundamentals in any project, right?

So you have scope, you have quality and you have time, right? So scope, quality and time. You can break down each one in different things, but it’s pretty much what you are dealing with.

So you have scope, like what you have to do, like what are the requirements you have to meet, et cetera. You have the quality, what’s the level of quality expected? Like if you are building a product, what are the basic functions? If you are building like a physical, like a content, let’s say, what’s the level of quality people expect, right? And you have time when it should be done, when each milestone of this project should be done, right?

And the biggest challenge of project management, it’s balancing those three because the saying that I really like is, okay, you have scope, you have quality and you have time, you can just choose two.

You cannot choose three. You won’t have the three ever. Oh, so you want scope and quality. Okay, so maybe you won’t be able to meet the deadlines. Oh, do you want time and quality? Okay, so we have to reduce the scope and so on. So this is very true because balancing those three things is the biggest challenge because you are talking about human beings. So you’re going to have people like prioritizing or have the expectation of achieving a level of quality, but you’re going to have other people expecting a deadline, but to meet this deadline, you have to sacrifice quality and how you navigate that. There are, of course, frameworks to deal with that, but that’s the biggest challenge.

So think of a project and break this project down into the three fundamentals and we’ll be very clear that you almost never will have the three. Even if you have infinite resources, let’s say you have infinite money to build the highest quality and scope possible, right? There are things that you cannot speed up, so you won’t meet time and so on.

Frank I’m going to throw a question back at you. In your own project experience, how did you try to balance these three contradictory aspects? What are some of your experiences, good and bad?

Igor Okay, so how I see it and it’s like from outside, it’s a little bit hard to not understand but visualize it happening, but that’s my framework for a long time. Especially when I think I built this framework when I had my marketing agency, which is if there is no pressure to meet deadlines, like if there’s not a good reason to meet a deadline.

So, for instance, let’s say you want to launch a campaign to sell your book and there’s no special reason to meet the deadline. So let’s say you can do that next week or within three weeks. I will just choose scope and quality, right? That’s my framework.

One clear example, I used to have, like when I sold my marketing agency a few years ago, I had something about 22 employees, right? And we used a tool called Airtable to manage our tasks and clients’ demands, et cetera. And we didn’t use deadlines for anything because I figured out a long time ago that it kind of doesn’t matter for the client. What matters for the client in this context of a marketing agency is like the scope and quality. Unless we are talking, now another example, right? We are talking about, like, we want to launch a Christmas campaign. Of course, you cannot launch a Christmas campaign in January, right? So in this case, it matters. So we would choose to sacrifice scope. We wouldn’t do anything the client wanted to do on Christmas. We would do what we thought would make sense. Of course, we would have to convince the client in education, et cetera. That’s another story. But that’s how I deal with that. So the first thing I try to eliminate from the equation is time. Most of the time it works, and then I can just focus on scope and quality. But let’s say I can’t throw out time, then I sacrifice scope. Quality, it’s almost never a good idea, to be honest. There are cases that you can sacrifice quality. It’s not that important. But nowadays it’s tricky because it’s so easy to produce basically anything, especially when you talk about marketing. It uses it to be a differential. Now it’s almost a pre-requirement to have quality. So that’s how I see it.

Frank Could you say that if you throw out the time, you let the art flourish? Because the time constraint is just not there, unless of course it’s a seasonal constraint. But if you take out the time constraint, the scope and the quality will flourish. With that, you come back to the definition of the art.

Igor Yes, it’s 100%, because the art part requires time. It requires time for reflection. Even to, let’s say, another example, something I do nowadays, for instance.

I work for this tech company. We build web tools for all sorts of things, and there are a lot of things going on in parallel. I am involved in many projects. There are a lot of complexity in all the projects. There are a lot of stuff floating around in my head all the time.

But I dedicate my Mondays, so I don’t have any meetings on Mondays. And I’m very strict about that. Because on Mondays, I want to just think about stuff. So I will look into the reports, I will browse the website, I will look into the competitors, I will read something. So I use this time, like Monday for me, it’s the time I want to think about stuff. Because otherwise, you’re just going to be overwhelmed, and you’re going to have to meet a lot of requirements. In the end, you are just pursuing metrics, which is important in some sense, but you want to pursue meaningful stuff. You don’t want to spend your time just pursuing metrics, like numbers and screen. You want to do meaningful work, and it requires you to use your creativity, intuition, etc.

Frank Yeah, that’s a good point. Because in my experience, everything is measured in hours. And you have so many hours at your disposal to complete any given task. And that puts an awful amount of pressure into it, because the hours are then equated to a project hourly rate, and that defines the budget. And in my experience, this was a very, very touchy point. I worked with project controllers. And they were constantly looking at the metrics, they were constantly looking at the hours it took something to produce, and they were constantly looking at the cost of these tasks. And their focus was to keep the project or to try and keep the project as much as possible in time. But they also had to somehow understand that they were working for a top-notch car manufacturer, and the quality was equal to the reputation.

So you taking the time out of this whole discussion and just letting everything in a disciplined way flow forward for want of a better picture, works in maybe your field, doesn’t necessarily work in a high-cost, high-risk, high-turnover, high-reputation environment in the industrial sector.

And that’s where projects then are different. And maybe then a project manager who works in an industrial area will be brilliant, but a complete waste of space in your field.

Igor That’s completely right. And that’s why project management is complex. Because we should realize that things are very different in different industries. So let’s talk about industry, for instance. Why time and cost is so game changer in industry, right?

The first reason is because the margins are very low. That’s the first obvious reason. So if you are able to reduce 0.1% on your cost, since industry you work with a massive volume of stuff, that’s a significant number. So margins are very low. That’s the first thing.

So in every industry that has low margins, you’re going to have a higher focus on cost and time efficiency, right? On the other side, okay, let’s imagine two spectrums, right? So you have an industry that produces cars, not cars because cars, it’s kind of changing as well. So let’s pick another example. Like that industry that produces pencils, right? So pencils, the margin is very low because there are so many competitors, there is not really differential. So the material you use, there’s no room for improvement in a pencil, right? So what matters is how fast you can produce and how cheap you can produce. That’s the far side of the spectrum.

The other side of the spectrum, you have, let’s say, a marketing agency focused on ads on Super Bowl. Like this kind of marketing, which is more heart oriented.

Of course, you have the deadline because you have the Super Bowl, but let’s imagine you have plenty of time to work on that. The cost kind of doesn’t matter. Of course, it’s important, but it’s not the goal. If you have to spend one more million dollars, you will spend it. That’s the reality of this kind of industry.And the quality is what is the most important thing. So the cost is not that important. So it depends a lot. You are right. And we are not even talking about health, right?

Because if you talk about hospital, it’s ten times more complex because now you are dealing with high stakes, you are dealing with costs, you are dealing with policies, etc.

So yeah, you are right. It depends. And that’s why we cannot simplify those kinds of stuff. And we have, let’s see, nine minutes left. Nine minutes. And I just want to, first I want to hear Ritesh, you are quiet. So do you have something to share? What are you thinking about this conversation?

Ritesh Yeah, so it’s very interesting to get all the stuff and knowledge, and it was very valuable to me. And as you mentioned that the different project industry, if you’re working a different industry, and I see what I have experienced that it makes difference a lot because when you are working in a software, so you have committed to your clients or if you’re working for some clients, then you have completed a date. And within that date, you have to deliver something. And then the three balancing things, because time is constrained here, then you compromise with the quality and you reduce the scope.

So I have personally experienced this situation in the place I work because sometimes the demand was something else. But because of time constraint, you compromise with quality and you live with some age cases and you deliver things. So it happens.

And so it brings a lot of light on this project management because the people who take the decision, they say that, yeah, we can go with this compromising thing and the lower quality. And then when we mentioned this all three point, then it was very interesting to know that the people, how they are taking the decision.

Igor Yeah, exactly. And of course, you will find clients or your boss that you say, no, I want three because we are talking about humans. But in the end, using the right words and explaining, they have to understand that because it’s a bad comparison. But you cannot change a lot of things. So there are things you cannot change.

And something I used to do, I still do that, but of course, not that often. But let’s say I want to I am meeting with my boss and he says something like, OK, we need this level of quality. We need this scope and we need to meet this guideline. Right. Let’s say I’m in the situation.

What I do usually is like to make questions. So a very clear example. And I use it to have a meeting, like a real meeting recorded to train my team in my marketing agencies to make questions to the client.

So let’s say the client say, oh, Igor, we have to do this campaign, which is like this giant scope. Right. We have to do that because I want to do blah, blah, blah. And I would ask, OK, so we can do that. But to meet this scope, I would have to drop this aspect of the quality. And then I would let the person answer because then the person would decide. But I’m like showing the options. Right. So you have to choose. You cannot do everything.

So that’s a very important aspect. And I want to finish this conversation like encouraging to think about this in your life. Right. Because that’s how I use it. And I, of course, each person will have different methods to deal with that.

But the way I see it, those three big aspects of project management. So if something is very important to me, that’s something I want to leave. And there is no pressure to meet a deadline, which most of the time is the case. Like if you really think about that, think about everything you want to do in your life and a lot of things, there are pressures that you put on yourself. Like you think that it should be done this time. But if you think about that, it’s not really.

You think that it should have this level of quality. But if you give it a second thought, you say, oh, not really. Right. Think about everything you want to achieve in your life or things you want to experience and think like see it through this lens.

Right. Scope, quality and time. What’s important, what’s not important.

Personal life, a personal example, it’s like I want to go to Japan eventually. Like that’s something I have been talking for years and I want to do and I’m confident I will do sometime. But I don’t have a deadline for that. There is no reason to have a deadline. Why would I put the pressure to do it in a specific date? Right. So I’m focused on scope and quality. So I want the experience to be the way I expect. I want to have time there. I could go like and spend one week in Japan, but I would be sacrificing the scope and the quality. So I just choose not to worry about the deadline. I choose to worry about the scope and quality. And at some point, like the deadline, the time becomes important. Then I have to drop scope and quality.

And it happens on a lot of things, like things you want to study, your work. By analyzing through the lens of these three fundamentals, it can help you to achieve more things in my experience.

So that’s my invitation for you guys. So think about everything you want to achieve in your life. Think about the like, OK, what should you drop? Because a lot of times, and I have seen it like constantly in my experience, people don’t do anything because they think they should met the three fundamentals. But that’s not the case.

It’s bad. It’s bad. Most of the times, I would say like 99 percent of the times. I won’t say 100 percent because there are cases that obviously you want to be perfect.

If you are operating a brain of a human being, you want to be perfect. But 99 percent of the time, done is better than perfect.

Frank That is true because it can always be improved afterwards. The Kaizen process used in the industries where you just observe something all the time and eventually an idea starts germinating and then it produces a result and then the product becomes a little bit better or not.

Igor I’m sorry to interrupt. Just a sentence which is very important. I have this on my blog, I think. It’s that focus on iterations, not being perfect. So focus on making something and improve it instead of making it perfect. Because it’s way easier and practical to focus on making something better every time than making it perfect.

Ritesh This is what we try to do. We try to do things in iteration. We launch something and get feedback and then we try to do better.

Igor Awesome. That’s awesome. Just think about the amount of things that don’t happen because people don’t have this mindset. A lot of things. A lot of people don’t start going to the gym because they want to be fit, 7 percent of fat in their body. They don’t want to start and then you do better every day. They don’t start a sport because they want to be perfect. Unfortunately, those people are well-limited.

Frank Igor, you have given us homework. Thank you very much for this. You have also plugged your blog which I looked at the other day and I noticed a very interesting post, March 23rd.

Igor Which one? I don’t remember.

Frank Basically, a little bit about how to orientate your life, what to go for, what is important.

Igor Oh, my life principles.

Frank That was a good reading. I’m going to just finish off the story. I lived in London for six years and I never managed to go to the British Museum which was just down the road. I was within spitting distance of this institution because I always thought tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow is another day. I had left England, moved back to Germany. My then wife and I, we divorced and she lived in Dublin with our daughter. It was my daughter who dragged me to the British Museum in London to have a look at some old Egyptian exhibition things. The cost of doing this was infinitely higher than when I had the thing right on my doorstep. That was the lesson learnt there.

Gentlemen, thank you very, very much. This was an interesting discussion, an interesting start. Let’s continue next week, same time, same place.

Ritesh I would like to thank you and Igor for taking up this. This is a really valuable lesson for me. It is really interesting to know this kind of knowledge is rarely given to people like us. I love to have this conversation going on, this reason. Thank you for taking this.

Frank I’m going to bat for you here a little bit, Ritesh, because what we discussed last week is actually an enormous factor that you can throw into this discussion.

Ritesh Yes.

Frank I’ve been thinking about it but I’m not going to tell Igor this because I want to play the devil’s cup. I think we’ve come out of this much more wiser and more informed. Igor, thank you to you for hosting this. I look forward to seeing it all happen again next week.

Igor Thank you. It’s always good to spend time with you guys. I hope you both have a good week.

Thank you.