Be my PRINCE2

Couple's hands held across table with drinks and red rose in vase

How to be successful at dating using the seven principles

We are approaching the – at least officially – most romantic day of the year, Valentine’s Day. A day perfect for dating. But what has this to do with project management? Well, PRINCE2® is designed to suit any project’s specific needs and context. And one defining characteristic of projects is that they are temporary, just like dating. At least dating should be temporary and lead to a long-term relationship…which could then be seen as ‘business as usual’.

So why not apply the seven principles to dating? We gave it a try.

1. Continual business justification

If you are out on a date, ask yourself throughout if there’s a continual business justification. is it worth it to stick to the bitter end if you are not enjoying it? Or should you just send a desperate text to a friend to ask them to call you pretending there’s an emergency?

2. Learn from experience

Dates are the perfect example for a project where you should learn from experience. So, look back at those dates that weren’t a success. What went wrong? Did you drink too much and make inappropriate jokes? Did you only talk about yourself instead of also asking questions? Whatever it was, don’t repeat it.

3. Define roles and responsibilities

If you decide you want to go on a date with somebody, make sure that it’s clear to both who’s responsible for what. You don’t want to turn up at a restaurant realizing that nobody booked a table for one of the (probably) busiest days of the year. Or that you miss out on that romantic film because you both assumed your date would get the cinema tickets.

4. Manage by stages

One step after the other… you don’t want to rush things when it comes to a date. Otherwise your date might do what we mentioned in number one and send the emergency text...

5. Manage by exception

Defining tolerances makes sense when it comes to finding true love. This could apply to funding the date. You might decide initially that you only want to spend a certain amount. However, if it’s a great experience, you might just want to stay for one more drink.

Or you might think, no kissing on the first date. But if you do feel those butterflies… well, you should have an exception for that as well.

6. Focus on products

What’s expected of the project? Think about what you want from a first date. If you are a ‘love at first sight’ person, then you want to feel the already mentioned butterflies in order to deem the date a success. If you think ‘love at first sight’ is just an invention by Hollywood, then you just want to have a good time and nice company. And that could then lead to a second date.

7. Tailor to suit the project

PRINCE2 is about taking into account the project’s environment, e.g. in this case the fact that it’s a date for Valentine’s Day. That means the date is expected to involve a lot of romance and most probably some flowers. Valentine’s Day is meant to be special, and so is the date. How will you make it stand out from the others?

So, before planning your Valentine’s Day, put some thought into these principles and apply them to your ‘romantic’ project. If you plan it properly, it can lead to the closure of your ‘search for love’ projects and be the start of something great.

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