|Project Manage Your Wedding
A key skill used in planning a wedding is project management. For that reason, I decided to make my final MBA course project management and started last week. On the surface, the course seems like “Much Ado About Nothing,” but I’m sure I’ll find more value soon.
In last week’s class, we discussed how some projects are unbelievable success and others are utter and complete failures. Eric Verzuh in his book The Fast Forward MBA in Project Management highlights how project management skills are learned more often than they are hardwired into our brains. He continues to say that there are five crucial qualities of a successful project.
So let’s turn it, flip it, reverse it for business-savvy brides and look how each one applies. To have wedding planning success, you must obtain the following five things:
After identifying those individuals who have an influence over your wedding decisions, it is important to make sure that everyone has a clear idea of your goals. Although it may seem obvious (get married, right?) it’s important to define for all stakeholders what having a wedding means. Your stakeholders include your fiance, parents, siblings, and friends. Do you want an extravagant wedding? A wedding on a budget? A courthouse wedding? Make sure everyone is on the same page.
2. An obvious path, clear responsibilities, and measures for success
Every wedding is unique – that is certain. So although there are plenty of advice givers (this is one of them), a wedding is most effectively executed with a plan in place. This plan should detail who is responsible for what and when along with estimating how many resources (aka money and time) you’ll need. Lastly, it is important to make sure you are measuring your progress throughout and making sure you’re stacking up against your budget and timeline.
3. Constant and effective communications with everyone involved
Communicating well and transparently will help you to achieve all the goals and milestones for your wedding plans. I am often asked about how to handle sharing the “power of the purse” or those people who are contributing to the wedding. Both formal and informal communications are crucial for keeping these people informed and doing so transparently. Hiding plans from your stakeholders contributes to your stress and strains relationships, so be open and honest at all times.
4. Controlled scope
This is technical jargon for understanding the goals of your wedding planning and your vision. If you’re future mother-in-law wants a tree planting ceremony and you can’t fathom bringing any dirt close to your immaculate, white gown, then make sure your MIL knows that the tree-planting ceremony is outside of the “scope” of wedding planning. Stakeholders should not only acknowledge and agree to the original scope, but if your scope changes, they should be made aware and comply with your vision.
Ensuring your have the support of all stakeholders is crucial during wedding planning. In agreeing to your goals, you should automatically obtain each stakeholders support. But the most important person’s support to obtain is the person paying for the wedding. The person with the “purse-strings” is the ultimate decision makers and must support your ideas. So if your parents are generously paying for items, ensure they support your ideas. If you’re self-funding, ensure that the hubster gets where your coming from.
Although some effective wedding planners are considered to be mysterious angels from Heaven (I know mine certainly are this too), they are truly effective and efficient project managers.
Which element of the five success factors for effective wedding planning is the most challenging for you? Share your thoughts in the comments here.