On Chaos, Pilots & Liquorice


… or techniques for better project management in chaotic times


Well, it surely is questionable didactics to start a post with the negative sentiments part.
But who cares if it’s the truth. Syria, Barcelona … These are troubled times, confusing and complex.

Perhaps that is why I visited the Kaospilots in Aarhus, Denmark. Their name seemed to offer guidance. It’s part business school, part consultancy specialized in change-management.

According to them in 2030, at least 50% of all students will have to create their own future jobs while attending university. In order to do so and getting enabled to jump into new projects quickly one technique is esp. important and the base of all teaching there: they call it pre-jecting.

Prejecting comprises assigning a team to a task via creating shining eyes for a mutual goal + setting own rules to reach it. Further it’s a technique to aim not only for task solution but to set the best outcome imaginable. Paint the rainbow, reach the rainbow. Yet, the most important finding was: take your time at this stage. Say magic words like ‘Wouldn’t it be cool if we could reach …’

Bottom line: it’s about positivity, boost and structure combining divergent and convergent funnels of problem solution. For all you ‘structure-foxes’ the following milestones exist: preject the project, discover data, define areas, consolidate, start developing concepts/prototypes, evaluate these and then start delivering the best final working solution. (PDDCDD). Got it?

… what did stick?

My most emotional take-away though was that our super divergent team managed to come to quite excellent results via taking their time to preject properly. Our worst enemy these days is time-famine. Time to think, time to digest thoughts and time to question requirements is scarce. But don’t let time scare you. It’s a matter of becoming the master of time. First by letting go and then by speeding the process up super aggressivcly – a valuable insight we have also made within our own workshop culture.

So embrace chaos, trim it via structuring time and achieve better outcomes. It’s not simple. It’s hard. But worth the effort to escape confusion and master complexity we all face in our daily work.

So long …

Happy Thinking Greetings from Aarhus – a definite place of positivity and liquorice.

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