Working in marketing, especially at a large agency, means there are lots of projects going on at once. I can’t remember a time when I worked on only one client at a time, let alone only one project at at time. So out of necessity, Project Management courses and skills became a prerequisite for me.
Those that know or have had any project management training know that these are mostly theories and principles as opposed to absolute truth.What works in one instance, may not in another. However, the theories and principles remain the same at the base of any project.
Having a set of twins, I’ve realised each one is basically a project, different from the other, but with many similar needs and requirements. Taking into account how I use my project management skills with the only thing more difficult to manage than twin, clients, I’ve put together a list of my top four applications of project management skills and training that I’ve applied my to life with twins. Considering that raising twins is a quite a project, you mine as well manage it and be able to manage it well. So what if some of the concepts come from the business world. Just be sure that when you get things done, you get them done like a boss!
- HAVE A CONTINGENCY PLAN…FOR EVERYTHING!
With twins, especially as they get older, something bad is bound to happen, regardless of how protective, proactive or prepared you are. Ideally, we cover every aspect of something going wrong, regardless of if it is major or minor. We’ve made sure to stock up on a fresh first aid kit for both the house and the car, covering most places we’ll be in case someone gets hurt. If someone is kicking off because of teething, we know that Neurofen will work quicker and for longer than the basic teething gel. If we’re out somewhere, there is an extra set of clothes for both in the event of an accident. Again, we try to consider and plan, not over-stress, but leave feeling prepared for anything that may arise.
- CONSTANTLY BE ASSESSING RISK & THE IMPACT IT MAKES
As with having a contingency plan, you have to assess what the risk and impact of things going on could be. Is it suddenly starting to cloud over? Does that look like a rain cloud? Should we bring the rain covers and a coat for the kids? If we don’t and it does rain, is it going to result in two unhappy kids if they get a bit of drizzle on them? Some of these can have low impact or risk, while others could potentially jeopardise the plans and lead to additional problems further along.
- RAISING TWINS IS A LOT LIKE BUILDING AN EFFECTIVE TEAM
There are countless books around building effective teams, how to raise excellent children, etc. In project management, when looking at building a highly effective team, you take into consideration the teams goals, roles, accountability and interpersonal relationships. These should all be considered when raising kids, especially twins who will have their own style, personality and quarks.
- SCOPE OUT EVERY DAY ASPECTS
If there is a trip out for the day planned, make sure to spend some time setting out a scope of what the day will look like. Plan what you’re going to do, tell the kids what the plan is and even ask them for their input in order to have a really successful outing. Granted this doesn’t all fall into place if you kids who aren’t of speaking age yet, but it can all still be applied. Outline what you want to get out of it. Is it a trip to go enjoy nature, pick up new clothes, visit friends? Make sure you have an end result in mind to make it enjoyable and meaningful.