A Table for 7 Please

project management

Project management geek on!

Our 6 week great African adventure starts in Tanzania (climbing Mount Kilimanjaro), then into Zimbabwe (Lake Kariba, Zambezi River, Harare) and South Africa (Cape Town, Drakensburg, Table Mountain, Shark Diving) as tourists. We may even toss in some Zambia (Devil’s Pool) and maybe some Mozambique.

Planning all of this has been interesting – especially with the added nuance this is not just a trip for 2, this is a trip for 7 people at any one time. Wow, that is a lot of moving parts!

So how do you approach planning a trip like this? Well you ‘geek it up’ and go into full blown project management mode. We have itineraries, calendars, task lists and spreadsheets. And those are not all mine, some of the other travelers are doing spreadsheets too! I have to admit there was some mocking when I brought out poster sized post it notes and colour coordinated small post its.

To officially kick off the planning, we gathered on our big deck, ordered in some sushi, cracked some cold pints and started laying out the details:

  • The group had their iPads, travel books, notes and whatever else
  • Everyone had an idea of what they wanted to see, where they wanted to go
  • We drew up a massive calendar with all our travel dates
  • We added to the calendar anything that was booked (flights to and from Africa, etc.) using post it notes so things could be moved about as needed
  • We added to the calendar things that we needed to book on certain days in post it notes again so we could shuffle as and when needed to accommodate other items
  • The end result was an exciting start to a travel calendar, and pretty large task list with action items (things to book) and who was doing the booking
  • We put the task list and travel calendar up on our private Facebook Group ‘Africa or Bust’

We are now all working on our tasks, using Facebook as our communication vehicle so everyone sees all of the conversations going on, and will meet again in August and September to finalize. Loving the ability to ask a Poll question on Facebook – this is dream with 7 people involved.

At the end of the day we now know we have some serious thrill and monkey seekers in the group – and some sightseeing, museum and wine tour seekers in the group. The combination of both will give us a plan with a bit of lazy and a bit of crazy…perfect!


PS …73 sleeps to go

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