One Crazy Summer

Friday evenings in our house are typically reserved for family time, and we usually find ourselves gathering to watch a movie. As is the practice, we rotate who in the family gets to choose the film. Last weekend, we ended up settling on an old favorite, One Crazy Summer

If for some reason you haven't seen One Crazy Summer, the title could reference a myriad of story lines, from adventure to chaos to tales of unthinkable hi-jinx. Or it might reference the nature of how a campus approaches its summer project list, complete with tight timelines, long hours, and unforeseeable disruptions. (In actuality, the film is about a high school graduate's search for a love story laced with its share of adventure, chaos, and 80's hi-jinx.)

Recently, we were discussing summer project lists of our own with one of our clients, and we agreed that the process of planning, budgeting, and executing such projects can get stressful and unruly. Although the secrets for a successful summer implementation plan are not written in stone, the framework for creating a successful environment are as follows:

  • Begin on the Monday after graduation. Do not wait until June.
  • Identify the "known," understand the "unknowns," and expect the "unknown unknowns"
  • Tighten budgeting processes
  • Identify staff willing to work long work hours
  • Implement a standard approach to project management to help avoid scope creep and cost overruns

The title of the film we watched and the very nature of a summer on campus fosters the notion that, without plans, we might be left to our devices and to whatever direction our peers might take us. Without thoughtful planning and sound execution, we may be in for one crazy summer.