I cannot think of a project that I have failed at, but I can think of a project that I had a planned schedule for that I did not follow. I was doing a literature search on “The Education, Discipline, and Laws of the Exceptional Child” for one of my undergraduate courses. This project required me to have a minimum of fifteen resources and different portions completed within two weeks. I created a schedule, where I would research and critique three resources per day within the first school week. The second week would be used to compile all the documents and have someone proofread them before getting it bound and submitting it.
I actually ended up doing everything the night before it was due. I was up all night long and because it was so late before I finished it, there was no one I could have proofread my documents. It was an overwhelming experience, and I was afraid that I would not be successful in completing my project in time. I was also worried about the quality of the information that I would be providing.
The outcome was that I was tired, overwhelmed, and stressed, but I received a great review from my professor as well as a great grade. I think the thing that saved me from having a failing grade is that the subject I chose was something that I had previous knowledge about, and I had a little experience working with exceptional students. Having a set schedule of how to complete the project was a great idea, but because I did not follow the schedule I caused unnecessary stress. I think that the schedule I created was kind of like a simple version of a work breakdown structure. A work breakdown structure is “an organized, detailed, and hierarchical representation of all work to be performed in a project” (Portny, Mantel, Meredith, Shafer, Sutton, & Kramer, 2008, pp. 86). I was given the assignment, knew what was expected, and then I created a plan or schedule of how I was going to complete the task, who I was going to have to review it, edit, make changes, have it reread, and then have it bound and submitted. The problem is that I did not follow it. Although I received a great grade on my project, I did not receive the maximum amount of points that could have been received. Had I followed the plan, the possibility of me receiving maximum value would have been greater.
Portny, S. E., Mantel, S. J., Meredith, J. R., Shafer, S. M., Sutton, M. M., & Kramer, B. E. (2008). Project management: Planning, scheduling, and controlling projects. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.