How to avoid a project management car crash

Since it’s the last day of November, this is for you if you have a ‘rush job’ of a restructuring project, corporate transaction or joint venture that needs to be completed before the year end.

If time is tight, it’s always tempting to ‘just get on with it’ and dispense with the detailed planning stage. The argument is generally that ‘we all know what needs to be done, and we just need to do it.’

Based on bitter personal experience, this is almost always a terrible idea. Cutting corners is usually a mistake. In the world of corporate projects, until you’ve nailed down the steps involved, the sequence of those steps, and the numbers and (if applicable) the cash flow, you really don’t know what you’re doing. And neither does anyone else. If you’re working in multiple jurisdictions, the risks increase exponentially. There’s no substitute for a detailed steps plan, a comprehensive list of documents and actions and (if applicable), a data log of the numbers or values involved. Even more important, is identifying everyone who needs to be consulted on the project, and asking for their input as early as possible.