What Defines a Project – A Lesson from Starbucks

I’ve been sitting here in my local Starbucks for the better part of the afternoon, and the traffic has been non-stop. Every so often I would pick my head up from my work, and see the line shrink and contract; but, there was never a time that someone wasn’t being serviced by a barista. Starbucks deserves a lot of credit for hiring employees that are willing to work so hard, keep a smile on their faces, and who can bring a smile to each customer with something as simple as a cup of coffee.

I’m going to use that introduction as a segway into a discussion about project work. Projects are work efforts that have a defined beginning and end. As such, they also have a defined budget that is limited by the duration of, and established before the start of the project. Keep this in mind as you pursue your goals, because both becoming constraining factors impacting your ability to achieve your objectives.

The work being done by the baristas is operational work. It has no defined beginning or end. The barista’s follows certain processes that have been selected for operational use by Starbucks because of their ability to efficiently and effectively generate revenue. Sure there are established hours in many cases, but this does not define a distinct start and end date because the work remains largely unchanged, day-in and day-out, except for when modified by a project. Revenue determines every aspect of operations, and for every business; and in every case, the day-to-day business processes were derived from a project.

If you want to build a life; build a business; or achieve greater success, take a lesson from Starbucks and their baristas. Set an objective, establish your goals, work hard, and use project methodologies, such as those defined by the Personal Achievement Life Cycle™ (PALC™) to create the processes and operations that will allow you to be as successful as Starbucks. In the end, it is your ongoing day-to-day activities that define your success and whether you know it or not, it is the project that defines these activities.

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One Response to What Defines a Project – A Lesson from Starbucks

  1. Pingback: Personal Achievement Life Cycle™ (PALC™) – Checkpoint #1 | All of Life's a Project

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