image by Mike Pettigano, flickr artist

you hear the phrase a lot in football. coaches always want their players to run “north-to-south” when they get the ball in their hands. the ultimate goal, for any team, is putting the ball in the endzone — and running the most direct route that you can is going to get you there the fastest. the same can be said for running a project.

every project has an ultimate goal (at least they should); in order to get to that ultimate goal, there’s a critical path of key tasks you must complete in order to get to that goal. your project can be completed no shorter than the time it takes to complete this critical path. you’ll do yourself a lot of favors by considering this path to be your ‘north-to-south’.

there will be defenders along the way — difficult clients who want to add to the scope of your project, changes in leadership and vision, new features you develop that can be added — defenders that want to get you moving east-to-west.

ignore them.