Don’t Say “Ongoing”

In this series of posts, I share what I’m learning as I make my way through Project Management Simplified, a course with management consultant, Chris Croft.

Croft warns against saying “the O word” in reference to a task’s timeline. If you say a task is ongoing, you are essentially saying you don’t know when a task is going to end. Perhaps the task will start on the first day of the project and end on the last day, but it will not go on indefinitely.

The fact that you feel tempted to say the task is ongoing may be a sign that you don’t have sufficient granularity. You need to break the task down into smaller subtasks.

In your projects, are you currently thinking of any of them as “ongoing”? Would breaking them down into smaller sub-tasks allow you to give them more concrete start and end dates? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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