Project Management 101: Raising the Second Baby

Published On:
November 7, 2017

This week, I decided to keep up the parenting theme from my last post because fatherhood has been an all-consuming role in my life recently – often beating-out sleep. It is now almost four weeks since we added a newborn to our portfolio… er, family. Memories of our life shortly after our first son was born have come flooding back and though we can handle many challenges today as we did then, there is a distinct feel to parenting this time around. I have to say, it has its similarities to managing the second in a series of projects after the first has gone live:

  • We have two sons, so we can reuse clothes, but the seasons are slightly different, and our second child is bigger than was our first, so we will have to augment his wardrobe occasionally.
  • You can reuse project templates and tools from past work, but account for differences in subject matter resources, timing, and working environment.
  • Though my wife and I love to dote on our newborn, our older son reminds us of his needs too – “Daddy, why don’t you put down the baby, so you can play with me?”
  • If you have limited resources, plan to dedicate some percentage of time to support the ongoing success of projects you have already delivered. Users will not be bashful or patient when asking for help.
  • Our parenting style is clearly different this time around. We know how rubbery infants can be, our confidence makes us relaxed and more tolerant of cranky cries, diaper changing mishaps, and serial outfit changes due to surprise attacks of baby bodily fluids. But, our “night watch” routines and soothing strategies continue to serve us well.
  • Your project governance framework should be sound after its initial use, so heed those guidelines, but leverage what you learned to adapt to new challenges and predict and plan for risks. And don’t sweat the small stuff – you’ve got this!
  • With our first son, we saw the pediatrician weekly in the first month. After our initial checkup this time, the doctor suggested we wait a month to come back. Though things seem to be going well, we find ourselves trying to remember those early milestones and measurements from a few years ago to gauge how to handle certain situations; “Wow, 4 ounces seems like far more milk than our first son drank as this age.”
  • You have an arsenal of benchmark measurements from your other projects so use them as one method to gauge your current progress. Not all metrics will have a one-to-one relationship, but close results will give you confidence that you are on the right track.

It may be a stretch to compare managing family life and business projects, but I hope you enjoy the analogy. Emotionally, project work cannot hold a candle to the joys and challenges of parenthood, in my opinion, so I am soaking up all the time I have with both of our sons, and could not be happier to share all the highs and lows with my wife.

Here’s to your growing portfolio, whatever its contents!

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