Project Practitioners > Go All the Way

Go All the Way

By Chris Cook, PMP

READ TIME: 5 minutes


Back in June 2018, I wrote an article laying out ten characteristics every successful project manager possesses. As the questions and comments rolled in, I began wondering if I should dive a little deeper into each trait to show how to become better in each.

The result is a ten-week article series. The fifth characteristic I listed was “go all the way.” Here is what I originally wrote:

“Half measures achieved us nothing.

Once you have taken the dive, commit fully to the idea. Again, these commitments occur in steps. Committing fully does not mean millions of dollars in advertising. It means the avenue you picked needs to be the avenue.

If you decide service work is better than remodel, fully commit to service. Dabbling in both could mean you have neither. Like a football team that does not commit to a quarterback, the team has no idea who to support or who to listen to because the other guy might be playing.”

Now, let’s figure out how to become better at going all the way.


  1. The one thing in your control is under control

Through the unpredictability of life, there is one thing you can control, effort.

A schedule is out of whack. A budget is overrun. The critical path is nonexistent. Contractors are not showing up on time or at all. The owner is not getting back to you on important issues. Senior management is no longer supporting the project like they originally set out to do.

Amongst the chaos, the one thing in your control is the effort you put into these issues. Letting them resolve themselves is a fantastic way to turn a molehill into a mountain. Zero effort results in major problems.

Major effort results much better. Not quite zero problems but you nip them in the bud.


  1. No more talking

Talking about your dream and goals gives you a sense you are accomplishing them. By talking, you feel like you are doing. Meanwhile, the opposite is occurring. You are standing still while the world passes you by.

Any action, no matter how small and insignificant it appears, is better than any amount of talking, no matter how large and important it seems. I will paraphrase a quote I saw the other day. People would rather dream about creating a million dollar company than go out and make a $100. Those million dollar words and dreams do not amount to much if no action is taken. That $100 effort compounds itself over time to amount to great wealth.

Projects tend to create meetings. Those meetings tend to create words. Those words need to be actions otherwise time is wasted. Think of how much money is sitting in those meeting rooms. Instead of managing teams and scheduling future events, everyone is sitting around talking trying to defend what happened in the past.


  1. If you are not moving, you are going down

Status quo and plateauing are not acceptable standards. Maintaining is not helping you reach your goals. Remember, the point of this is to go all the way. That means progress is mandatory.

I can think of many tenant requests for maintenance items that have gone on for months unnecessarily. This stagnation does not get anything done and only piles up over time. All of a sudden an email will come through asking about it, and that is not the reminder I like receiving.

Like a shark that needs to keep moving to stay alive, always be cognizant of what is around the corner. Being proactive is another way to keep moving. Idle times bring about opportunities to plan and execute.



This idea of going all the way piggybacks the idea of habitually committing. The commitment leads to action. The action leads to completion.

This article series is meant to build on each other with ways a project manager can accomplish great things. Productivity is always mentioned in getting things done. Meanwhile, commitment and effort get pushed to the wayside. There is always another trick, application, or program to install that makes someone get more done with less effort.

Sometimes, more gets done with more commitment. Often, more gets done with more effort. You control the effort you put into a project. Everything else happens outside of your control. The results may not be there, but the process stays true.

That process results in action. That action results in crushing the status quo. Crushing the status quo leads to progress. That progress leads to completion. Those completions lead to success.

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