Projects and the red zone


Many projects are never finished. There are countless broken and not-quite-fixed cars in garages. There are crafts projects, massive redevelopments and everything in between. They sit unfinished because of bad planning, lack of resources, and most of all, a lack of resolve and skill in overcoming challenges that might have been surmountable.

Often, projects get done, but over budget and with missed deadlines. They hit roadblocks (some foreseeable) due to the difficulty of coordination, supply chains and the status quo, and they get done, eventually. This is the roadwork near my house–it’s been two years of construction, and without a doubt they’ll get there, but it’s slow and expensive going. Normal work, normally done, with plenty of delays and a bit of drama.

The sweet spot is a project that is run by someone who has earned the skills to anticipate and deal with all the challenges that come up along the way. This isn’t a project where the deadline was met because of hope or good luck, but because effort and planning were put to good use. We see examples of well-run projects all around us. They show up when they’re supposed to because we organized to make that happen.

The last kind of project is one that broke all the records and happened despite the obstacles. Unfortunately, these red zone projects create a lot of scar tissue and negative side effects. You might be able to do them once or twice, but you can’t rely on them.

Which kind of project are you running right now?


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