"Wait a minute. This sounds like rock and/or roll."


How does your project plan compare?

I recently toured the Empire State Building and was struck by the project plan for its construction:

Empire State Building Gantt Chart

Empire State Building Project Plan

To put this in perspective here are a few facts about the project:

  1. Tallest building in the world at the time
  2. 410 days to complete
  3. 7,000,000 person-hours
  4. 3,400 concurrent workers at peak
  5. 5 deaths (considering the working conditions it’s amazing there weren’t more)
  6. $25M construction cost (in 1931 dollars)
  7. 47 tasks on the plan (66 if you include sub-tasks)
  8. Completed on time and under budget
  9. 83 years later it is still fully operational

Now think about the last project you worked on and ask yourself:

  1. Is this the first time something like this has ever been attempted?
  2. Does my project involve as many people?
  3. Does my project risk lives?
  4. Is my project budget (in today’s dollars) as large?
  5. Will the thing you are building be around in 83 years?

and finally, how does my project plan compare? I have personally seen a lot of project plans and every single one of them was substantially longer and more complicated, while the answer to all of the above questions was “no”.  How about you?





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