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Project Management

Ore Wedding

Project Management

If you’ve ever been involved in Wedding planning, I’m sure you can relate to some of the comments in this article. And, for those of you that haven’t, sit back and laugh at my issues.

It all started around the 1st of the year, when my Stepson proposed to his girlfriend. Boom, my project management wheels kicked in, immediately. For those that know me, I am a planner and want my ducks in a row as early as possible. The first questions were when and where? And, then of course having a deliverable with a definitive delivery date, meant all of the tasks back loaded to fit that date. Whew!

Being on the Grooms side, you wouldn’t generally expect as many activities as the Bride, but when they asked to have their extra reception at our house outdoors on the patios… well then, that added quite a few WBS activities to the project. All those little tasks like flower beds and patio furniture that generally are not on my calendar until much later, leaped to the forefront. All had to be finished and ready weeks earlier than I normally would have it done. Granted no one probably noticed the flower beds, but I did!

The thing that suprised me the most thru this whole project, was their casual time management or lack thereof. Wedding invitations did not get ordered until mid-March, good thing it was a friend and a local printer. I on the other hand, wanted reception RSVP’s as soon as possible so that I could plan for the food and refreshments. But I couldn’t mail reception invitations until the Wedding invitations were mailed. UG! And by the way, here’s a news flash “millennials are very laid back and slow with commitments”. I got three RSVPS’ from 50 invitations sent. Another UG! I could have emailed or texted the invitations and save time & money.

Spring in Oklahoma and having outdoor activity plans definitely added some stress and risk management activities to the project too! The week before the Wedding, weather reports starting hinting of a massive rain and possible flash flooding on the weekend of the Wedding. So, since the risk could not be mitigated by moving the date, our risk response strategies was scrub and clean the garage and plan for tables and chairs inside.

Food preparation was another concern, since we were in the Wedding party and needed to be in Shawnee on Friday evening for the rehearsal dinner and again Saturday afternoon at 2:00pm for the Wedding. And the reception at our house was at 6:30pm and a 1 ½ hour drive away. Again, millennials and their time schedules! We choose a menu that could have some things prepared ahead and refrigerated and some things that could be cooked Saturday evening. Good thing it was outdoors, we opted for Brats and Hamburgers and all the fixings to go with their laid back attitude. I made all the salads, baked beans and other items Saturday morning at 5:00am and we lit the grill when we returned from the Wedding.

Reality hit Friday, when we received torrential rain and wind. After 4 inches and 60mph wind, the yard was trashed and would need some cleanup. But, it didn’t’ quit raining until Saturday morning. So, in between cooking and preparing for the evening festivities, we began the clean-up process. Nothing like a yard blower and tractor running at 5am in the dark. Good thing we live in the country and didn’t disturb the Stakeholders (neighbors). YEA!

We dressed and rushed off to the wedding, had to be there at noon for pictures. Then the ceremony, church reception, cake and more pictures…. Finely we rushed out of Shawnee at 5:00pm, westbound for our house 90 minutes away. Another risk management strategy was to get our best friends to leave early and get to the house to open it up for guests who might get there before we did.

The good news is a lot of the guests followed the Bride & Groom in a convoy to our house. They called to say they were headed our way, when we were about 15 miles from the house. So, we got there before the celebration began (YEA!) The sun came out as the guest cars were all arriving and we had a great evening. Fire pit burning, BBQ grill going and food abound… Some in the garage and some on the patio, but all had a fabulous time. Most left how they arrived, convoy behind the Bride and Groom honking and yelling Congratulations!

It was a small event, but very special and critical none the less. And it turned out perfect, in spite of my worrying and crazy project management activities!

Lessons learned in this project that would be applicable at Rigil or in your own projects:

  • Delegate tasks to other members of your team; you can’t do everything, so let others help.
  • Communication; keep everyone updated on activities & timing, helps reduce surprises.
  • Celebrate your successes!