I just finished the electronic version of Manage Your Job Search, integrating my comments from my beta reviewers. I'm getting the book ready for print and audio now. One of my realizations is that a job search is an emergent project. As much as you might want to, you cannot predict an end date.
Other emergent projects are writing books (at least, for me they are) and change projects, such as transitioning to agile.
What are the common characteristics of emergent projects?
- You know what you want as a result. You either want a job, a great book, or an agile transformation, which is often a cultural shift.
- You can't plan the entire project all at once. You can plan a little. You might even be able to outline the entire project. But you know you will have to replan as you proceed.
- You know things will change. As a veteran of all three kinds of projects, yes, I can guarantee that all three will change!
- You can take advantage of opportunities along the way.
- Serendipity makes the project better.
- Even if you are one of the people instigating the project, you depend on other people to complete the project.
Emergent projects are often a time of great change for the people on the project. They can be fun, also. But they can never be planned so that they “just work that way.” Nope. The people on the project need to adapt to what is going on that day, the next day, and the next.
Many projects have characteristics of emergent projects. But they are not emergent by nature. More projects have deadlines, where they start to lose value if you don't release them by a certain date. Or, if they take too long, they are too expensive to consider.
If you have an emergent project, hang on for the ride. Use lean approaches and limit your WIP (work in progress). You will have cultural change.
Let me know if I've missed other kinds of projects as emergent projects. Thanks.