If you are assigned an initiative that should be a project, you need to ensure that it is in fact a project. Do not accept project assignments that are incomplete, because they are really “Hobbies.” Hobbies are great for non-working situations and can be a lot of fun and enjoyment. However, hobbies usually result in failure and a waste of effort in work related situations.
Do not accept them! Insist on having a true project plan that includes the “Triple Constraint’ or Project Management Triangle.”
This means that the project shall be “on time”, “within budget” and “according to specifications.” Make sure that before you accept the assignment that you have all these aspects to your assignment identified.
If your boss does not give this information to you, then you should determine your best guess at what these should be and share them with your boss. If your boss does not accept your proposal do not do the assignment. (Be tactful and remember you are dealing with your boss!) You will most likely fail, if you accept the assignment with the vague information! Anything that is aligned to the strategic direction of the company will justify resources, timelines and specific purpose. If it is not aligned with the organizational strategy, why bother to do it anyway?! Work on things that matter and add value!
If you are the leader or supervisor, assign projects not hobbies!
The Project Management Triangle (called also Triple Constraint or the Iron Triangle) is a model of the constraints of project management. It is a graphic aid where the three attributes show on the corners of the triangle to show opposition. It is useful to help with intentionally choosing project biases, or analyzing the goals of a project. It is used to illustrate that project management success is measured by the project team's ability to manage the project, so that the expected results are produced while managing time and cost.
The project-management trilemma
Arthur C. Clarke cited a management trilemma encountered when trying to achieve production quickly and cheaply while maintaining high quality. In the software industry, this means that one can pick any two of: fastest time to market, highest software quality (fewest defects), and lowest cost (headcount). This is the basis of the popular project management aphorism "Quick, Cheap, Good: Pick two," conceptualized as the project management triangle.