mahjong tiles

Working through the stages of a project is like working through a shanghai mahjong (shanghai solitaire) formation.

  1. A new formation can be initially overwhelming when we first encounter its complexity. Just like a new project. There are so many factors both explicitly stated and otherwise. Time is needed to survey the lay of the land as it were, to understand and see what is actually going on.
  2. After some time studying, we will start to see the patterns in the formation or project. Potential paths forward will become more apparent. Depending on the size of the project or mahjong formation, we may start to get a sense of the hidden pieces.
  3. And so we formulate a strategy for action. And begin acting without over planning. The point of the game and of projects is to act towards an outcome.
  4. As we progress, we are constantly reviewing our progress and keeping an eye on how the landscape is changing. We change tack or even backtrack as needed.
  5. Sometimes progress can stall. We may find ourselves stuck work no clear moves forward. We can try and push our way through. Our take a break to gain a different perspective. And if can be greatly frustrating when we take two steps back for every step forward.
  6. If we persevere, we will eventually get over the hump. At this point, we can sense that the end is in sight. The easy forward suddenly becomes really easy and clear. And so we run towards the finishing line.
Image: Mahjong Tiles via Shutterstock.