When you finally start a project and get going with your plan, things inevitably come up. More work items are required and some planned ones aren’t required anymore. The temptation is to slip changes into the original plan as you go, but too much of this and you’ll find yourself constantly churning in the weeds, hitting delays, butting up against avoidable obstacles and missing opportunities. Staying in the weeds is a really easy way to lose direction and add delays.
We find it a good practice to take time and take a step back and review plans at a high level. Check direction, re-prioritise, review the goals and ensure our course is correct. In fact, we do this every Monday morning to keep us straight for the week. Our experience is that low level management of work items as they come up starts you on a path of exponential growth of problems. Avoid it by taking a step back.
Keeping plans fresh like this will help you achieve your goals faster. This doesn’t have to be confined to project delivery as the same is true for personal development or any kind of objectives setting. Do you work in an organisation that sets annual employee objectives? If so, I’m sure that when you come to do your annual performance review many of the objectives are stale. Keep them fresh by increasing the review frequency, if you don’t, both you and your company are missing opportunities.