The Seven P’s

What experience do you have in project management and project planning?

I entered into my LIS studies as a second career having spent a decade (or so) having worked in film/video and television production.  I gained quite a bit of experience in the realm of project management as the consistent role I marketed myself as was that of a Production Manager.  I worked on hundreds of television commercials, independent film projects, and even the comedy cult puppet show MST3K in that role.  One impression shared through the NINCH readings was the reminders regarding the need for preparing and anticipating future challenges.  We’ve already dwelled on issues in this course about whether the personnel will be changing throughout the life-cycle of a project, what standards should be agreed upon, updates in technology anticipated, and how many issues can be addressed in the planning stage.

Throughout my previous career, I often heard co-workers use of the adage “Remember the 7P’s”  Roughly speaking:

Proper Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance or Proper Planning and Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance

Pardon the mild expletive, doubtlessly placed there to make it all the more memorable.  The phrase does stress the outcome of not having adequate pre-production or pre-planning related to any project.  When working on film/video productions we spent weeks prepping for a one day shoot, striving to ensure that we had every possible issue that might arise addressed ahead of time with contingencies, alternate strategies, and available options.   We knew that day of the shoot we would be burning through money with our hired crew, locations, and equipment, so we had to be prepared for everything.  This experience is instructive to a digital library in that one must  begin with asking “what can go wrong?”  and “what if this happens?”  questions from the get go.  If we don’t spend time considering these eventualities ahead of time before we involve more people and resources, we can certainly face consequences.

Spend the time,  Remember the 7P’s.


4 responses to “The Seven P’s

  1. I haven’t heard that one since my friend’s dad made it the mantra of our canoe trip to the Quetico when I was 14! The mild expletive helped me remember it until now. 🙂

    I have no experience project managing or planning for a library but I have got a good feel for the pitfalls (I think) through my last 8 years of working for a non-profit music school.

    One thing I’ve felt again and again with the school is how valuable taking the time to clearly define the organization’s mission can be. It’s something that almost always feels like a waste of time when you are arranging the meetings or doing the work of defining it but when problems arise — especially tough decisions that affect staff and budget — a strongly defined and articulated mission can really save the day. Can we afford to hold our yearly festival? Do we hire a new teacher in a new instrument? Do we financially support students traveling to far away competitions?…. The organization has to be in touch with its purpose to appropriately allocate resources and keep moving forward.

    • rudrud879 has a cameo at the beginning skit of the episode The Final Sacrifice. Pearl tries to rule the world one person at a time and he is the first person on her list.
      Sorry to fanboy all over the blog

  2. Did you work in L.A.? My husband does audio/video production and interned at Politically Incorrect back in the mid 90s.

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