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Always Ask the Zeroth Question About Your Projects

Rothman Consulting Group, Inc.
Vol 9, #3: Always Ask the Zeroth Question About Your Projects
Jan 17, 2012                                                                                      ISSN: 2164-1196


Always Ask the Zeroth Question About Your Projects

Sometimes, you wonder why you are doing this project. You spend all this time on it, you’re sure there isn’t much value from the project, and still, the project is on the top of your manager’s list.

There’s a zeroth question you can ask that might help the conversation. The question is this:

“Should We Do This Project at All?”

Sometimes, In the heat of the project portfolio discussion, you, your managers, whomever is discussing the project forgets to ask themselves this question. Now is a good time to remember.


If you are part of a leadership team and you are evaluating the project portfolio, make sure you ask this of each project in the project portfolio. If you are a technical person working on a project you don’t think is worth the work, nudge your manager, “Did you ask the Zeroth question?”


If the answer is No, don’t worry. It’s okay to ask the question now. If the project is not worth doing, stop the project and start something that is worth doing.


If the project is worth doing, great. You can make sure you have everything you need.


That zeroth question is key to managing your personal or corporate project portfolio. It allows you to see if the project is worth your time to do or not do. And, if you are managing your personal project portfolio it helps you assess whether to do the project at all. To learn more, see Manage Your Project Portfolio.


Coaching About Your Project Portfolio

You still have time to sign up for my peer project portfolio coaching program designed for individuals to learn how to adapt the ideas in Manage Your Project Portfolio to your own work or your life. We have four spots remaining.


If you want some help managing your personal project portfolio, sign up. If you are a leadership team, contact me for special pricing that depends on the size of your team.


Some of you have said, “Wait a minute, I needed more time to register at the discounted price.” So, I’m extending the current discount until January 20, 2012. So sign up now. 

Welcome or Welcome Back to the Pragmatic Manager


Some of you signed up for the Pragmatic Manager yesterday. And, some of you signed up years ago. Some of you had trouble signing up for a variety of reasons, including bouncing addresses.


I have resolved many of your bouncing addresses. In the meantime, you may have missed a number of issues. See back issues of the Pragmatic Manager here.


If I’m not connected with you yet on LinkedIn, please do connect with me. I want to connect with you, my subscribers.


I keep my blogs current with my writings: Managing Product Development

Hiring Technical People

and my newest blog (with it’s own new mailing list) Create an Adaptable Life.


© 2012 Johanna Rothman

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