Lilly Tomlin once said “When I was young I always wanted to BE somebody when I grew up. I just wish I’d been more specific.” Isn’t THAT the truth! Many project teams hear the shot of the starting gun and leap into figuring out HOW they will do the project before they even understand clearly WHAT the heck project is intended to accomplish. Customers? Ha! An afterthought at best. Ignoring the needs of real customers is just the start. Goals are unclear. Nebulous and ill-defined notions of the end game hover in a foggy haze where specific and measurable completion criteria should be. Each stakeholder has a different idea of what defines success and in which direction the finish line lies. Like a group of school children whose teacher asks each one to draw a tree, each imagines and begins creating an entirely different tree. As different as a bonsai and a sequoia, the goal of the project varies widely from person to person. The project manager must create a grand unified vision of success (sorry, the physicist in me leaks out once in a while!), what it looks like, feels like, sounds like, tastes like and smells like. Every single person associated with the project must share a similar hallucination about the end result to which the team is committed in order to make all due speed toward that common goal. If you can’t be done you sure as heck won’t know when you are. No wonder scope creep has turned into scope LEAP in the past decade!! Your thoughts?