Improve your Barbecue with Project Management

Date: 02/07/2024| Category: Best Practices Glossary|

Project management best practices are applicable to everything, is it a myth or reality? Today we are going to look at food: in particular, we will focus on how to organise a barbecue as a real project.

In particular, we will consider the following aspects:

  • Business Case
  • Organisation
  • Plans
  • Quality check
  • Risks
  • Changes
  • Lesson Learned

1. Business Case

The business case is in fact the project justification, i.e. it is the answer to the question: “Why are we doing this project?”

In the case of a barbecue, it is nothing more than wanting to eat a barbecue together with family and friends to take advantage of the warm weather.

2. Organisation

Even in the case of a barbecue, it is useful to have good organisation and to be prepared for mishaps and problems.

First of all, you need to establish roles: who is in charge of the barbecuing, who is in charge of the side dishes, who is in charge of the drinks, cutlery, napkins, plates and glasses, how to organise the shopping, etc. Obviously, the more people involved in a barbecue, the more variables need to be taken into account (e.g. vegetarians, intolerances, preferences, and so on).

This is why it is optimal to establish ‘watertight’ roles, giving each person responsibility for a small part of the total project, so as to be sure that even if something should go wrong, it will only be a part of the whole organisation (the important thing is to assign the task of the actual grilling of the meat, fish and vegetables to someone reliable!).

3. Plans

Planning the activities is crucial for them to be successful, so it is important to define everything that must be done from the preparation phase of the barbecue onwards.

Is the barbecue working? Is it necessary to replace some items? Is all the equipment (from charcoal to tongs) present?

Once every aspect of the ‘barbecue project’ has been analysed and any missing elements resolved, we can move on to quality control.

4. Quality Check

When it comes to food, quality is a very important element in many respects.

Surely the testing phase is the most desired one! Who will test the ‘products’? Finally, a project management activity that is really nice to apply in everyday life!

5. Risks

What types of risks can be encountered when preparing a barbecue?

  • The weather: the great unknown of all barbecues (especially those on Easter Monday!) is rain. Thinking of alternative solutions, such as having a covered place to eat, would certainly be optimal.
  • Burning food: an eventuality even worse than rain. If the organisation phase has been dealt with correctly, the best cook or chef in the company will certainly be at the grill.
  • Forgetting about food preferences, intolerances or allergies: the larger the group of people, the more you can forget about exceptions. Having these kinds of details in mind will help everyone have the best possible experience. All it takes is a little caution.

6. Changes

Even (and especially!) with home events, you always have to be prepared for last-minute changes: someone brought more people or someone forgot to inform you of an intolerance, … be prepared for last-minute changes and be Agile!

Experiencing agility in everyday life helps professionals to apply it even in the most complex situations by developing excellent problem solving skills that are also useful when working on projects.

7. Lessons Learned

Drawing the right conclusions and understanding what went well and what could have been done better is crucial: lessons learned are the real baggage that every professional receives after finishing a project.

Even better, you might think of sharing the lessons learned from the barbecue among friends so that you can further improve the organisation of the event and make the most of everyone’s experience!

If you have already successfully applied Project Management practices in your Barbecues, why not try applying them to a more complex project? Read our blog ““Tailoring” PRINCE2: How to plan a wedding” and learn how one of our Trainers applied PRINCE2 to organise his wedding.

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