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Project IMPROVE: analysis by guest blogger Floyd Flanders

July 8, 2006

Howdy, folks! Floyd Flanders here. You may know me as the best-selling author of the book “Self-Actualization for the Utter Moron,” or perhaps as the host of the popular radio show “Floyd to the World!” Because of my expertise in the field of Human Potential, I’ve been asked to critique Project IMPROVE, Greg’s attempt to better his college PRs in the 1500-, 3000-, and 5000-meter runs. The latest result — 8:48.1 for 3000m on July 5th — confirms that this project is floundering like a bottom-dwelling fish, but why? The answer is simple, as long as you remember my Three Components of Successful Project Management: (1) realistic expectations, (2) help from appropriate experts, and (3) well-defined deadlines.

Regarding (1), Greg thought that he could knock off these previously untouchable times after a couple of weeks of speedwork. Think again, buddy! You’re older than ever, and regaining youthful speed is about as difficult as catching trout with a coat hanger.

In terms of (2), Greg has failed to recruit anyone to pace him at these races. Winning 3Ks by 40 seconds and lapping 12-year-old girls may look impressive, but come on! If he wants to run fast times, that “I don’t need any help” attitude needs to go!

As for (3), no deadline was set up front, and now there’s a risk that the project will drag on indefinitely and interfere with Greg’s training for the Twin Cities Marathon on October 1st. Given the project’s uninspiring progress to date and its equally dismal prospects for the future, I recommend that it be terminated within the next two weeks.

In summary, Greg’s disregard for the fundamental principles of project management has led to overconfidence followed by underachievement. I can only hope that he’ll plan and execute his next project with greater care.

Respectfully submitted,
Floyd Flanders

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