Book Review: Make It Fly
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Brigitte Cobb’s Make it Fly book is subtitled “The step by step guide to making ANY idea, project, or goal take flight.” It’s not about project management and it doesn’t aimed at project managers. It’s a way to get things done.
On page 40, there is a photo of a Gantt diagram, and on page 50 Cobb writes about risks and issues and dependencies. Although she doesn’t explicitly introduce project management vocabulary, it is there.
This makes it the ideal book for project managers or people who want to take on small projects but don’t know where to start. Many of the examples are personal projects like setting up a small business or losing weight. You could also use them to manage work projects.
These are the 3 things that will get you to your goal
Cobb states that there are three things that can prevent you from achieving the results you desire:
This will give you a good idea of what it is that you really want.
A plan to achieve it (your idea)
The ability to deal effectively with any fears.
The book covers all of these topics to some degree. There is also a fair amount information about the last point, including chapters on how to change your outlook and reframe your worries so you don’t give up before you reach your goals. This section covers positive thinking, managing your life/work balance, and well-being. I didn’t find it very helpful.
Let’s begin at the beginning
The book is divided into four parts, each of which is sub-divided into sections. Each chapter is a chapter and is very brief. You will also find exercises that will help you create a vision, goals and plan. This book will guide you through each stage of managing a project if you don’t have any idea.
Cobb’s “project management lifecycle” is:
Project initiation: Define, refine, and make it real
Plan and plan again (erm… this section is about planning).
You can get out of your own way (this refers to increasing self-confidence and going for it).
Keep going and get going (keep the momentum going).
The project lifecycle as illustrated in Make It Fly’s front cover. I thought the last section was very good, and it also includes a chapter about celebrating success. Many project managers I have spoken to don’t do enough of these things. You should celebrate your successes, no matter how large or small, whether you’re managing a multi-million-pound project or organizing a family vacation. Cobb calls this “celebrating responsibly”. Cobb says that you shouldn’t spend a lot on a suit if all you have done is arrange your first meeting. She writes, “Make your celebrations match your achievements.”
The book is well-designed and easy to understand. Although it is not for people who have the skills to break down projects into smaller chunks, it will give you the tools to get started and make your project a success.