You Don’t Need a Project Plan

That’s right. You heard me. You don’t need a project plan.

It’s easy to think that a good project plan is what will keep a project flowing and keep you from getting stuck, right? I mean, all that information about what needs to be done and when it should be done by…how can it not be the cure for all project ills?

But I’ve seen lots of people create new products and services and get them launched without anything remotely resembling a traditional project plan.

And I’ve gotten stuck (and witnessed clients getting stuck) on a project that had a plan with the exact right amount of detail.

So what gives?

I hinted at the answer in my last post, when I mentioned that beyond the project plan, you need stuff like Desire, Alignment, Commitment, Safety, and Capacity.

Stuckness tends to show up when one or more of those qualities is missing.

(And in case you’re new around here, what I mean by “stuckness” when it comes to a project is anything that causes your progress to slow or stop. Stuff like wanting to chase after a new shiny idea instead of working on the project you already started.

Or feeling like you need to ask a million people for their opinion of what you plan to create instead of just creating.

Or preferring to scoop out the litter box rather than work on your project.)

Today I want to talk about the most important ingredient to keep your projects moving.

The #1 Thing You Need for a Successful Project


Without Desire, you’ll either never complete the project, or you’ll need to force yourself to keep going.

And if you have to force yourself, you’ll probably wind up so drained afterward that you won’t be able to muster any excitement to tell people about your creation.

(If an ebook gets published in the forest but nobody reads it, does it make a sound?)

Why Desire is so important

You have to want to create the thing you’re about to create.

Sounds ridiculously obvious, right? But I mean you have to really want to create it.

When you get an idea for something – such as an ebook that you just know will blow people’s minds – in order for it to become more than an idea, you have to bring it out of the world of ideas, and into the world of form.

It takes a tremendous amount of energy to do that, so your desire to create the thing needs to be up at 10 (if not 11).

Anything below that and you risk not finishing the work you started.

Think back to some of your past projects. How many of them did you feel so excited about creating that your Desire was at 10 or 11?

Or did some of those projects actually have a hint of Should in them?

Or maybe your desire to do the project was actually more for a particular outcome – like selling a certain number of copies?

Does that mean that every day you need to be completely on fire to keep making progress?


But that original Desire needs to be there, someplace within you, so you can connect with it to keep going when the project gets hard.

I’ll be the first to say that even when you do everything “right,” projects are still challenging (I’ll share why that is in my next post). But with the right tools in your toolbox, you can finish a difficult project rather than shelving it.

That’s why I created Project Prowess. So you can learn how to choose, start, and complete projects that will grow your business and help your people. While you get to love your work.

Want to…

  • write an ebook?
  • create a client-wowing service or teleclass?
  • revamp your website copy?

Learn the best tools to get it done and out into the world while enjoying the process. With full support from me for a hell of a lot less than the cost of one-on-one coaching.

Project Prowess starts March 8, 2012. Registration is now open, so go check it out now!