Monday, June 23, 2008

Setting Goals

Well I ran Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth Minnesota over the weekend. I didn’t go as fast as I wanted. I was originally thinking 3 hours 10 minutes. As I got going, I settled into a pace to get me to the finish in 3:15. However, it started warming up, I started slowing down, and I finished in just over 3:25.

It’s good to set goals to move you forward, but some times you just can’t reach your goals and you have to know when to re-adjust. If I had tried to finish in 3:10 from the start, I probably would have dropped out by around 18 miles. It happened to me once, so I know. However, by knowing when to reset my goal, I was still able to finish.

I’ve been on projects that set off with some lofty goals, but is that really good? Is it really motivating to give people an impossible target, or is it more demoralizing? As project managers, our objective is the success of the project, but we have to know how to define what that means.

I don’t consider my marathon a failure because I didn’t hit my original target goal. I still ran over 26 miles in less then three and a half hours. I finished in 472nd place out of 9800 runners, so I was in the top 5%. I know there will be other races in my life that I will exceed my goals, so I’m happy with the results.

1 comment:

Dina Garfinkel said...

I have such a hard time with this one. I want to set goals for my team, but when its early in the project and we dont know enough yet to really make the best estimate on the time it will take to complete a task, we don't want to set a goal that might become irrelevant a week later.

Thanks for your great posts, I really enjoy reading your blog!