Understanding the life of a project using the 5Rhythms®

We manage all different types and levels of projects in business and in our personal life.

 

We create goals, schedules, deadlines, appointments, meetings, and to-do lists for the various projects, developments, restructuring and future plans we set out to achieve. We use a variety of tools and concepts designed to make our projects easier.

 

In the beginning of our projects we believe we just have to plan things out and then follow the plan for things to go smoothly. However, as we move along day after day, deadlines get closer and we may not be sure that we can do all that we planned, then the plans can change, we can feel stressed, and unexpected things can shake us up. Hopefully, and ideally, we finally reach our goals, but the path to project completion is not always easy.

 

This is a tool that can help us prepare for the energetic fields we will encounter along the life of a project. The objective is to anticipate the various rhythms of a project: the quiet phases as well the phases that are more rapid and turbulent, the moments when we feel confused and unsure of how to reach the project goals, and those times when we have believe the project will be successful and reach smooth resolution. Having knowledge of these project phases allows us to anticipate, and understand our feelings and responses to each phase and know that each one is an important step to go through as part of a wave of a project from inception to completion : 

1 Wave

The 5Rhythms® Wave

 This tool is base on Gabrielle Roth’s movement philosophy. Gabrielle Roth (1941-2012), was an American dancer, musician, and creator and founder of the 5Rhythms®. She developed the 5Rhythms® after observing people and life around her (for more information on the 5Rhythms® practice please see http://www.5rhythms.com/.)

 

Gabrielle Roth’s theory explains how every thing (e.g. a cycle, month, project, and moment) consists of five specific and successive rhythms. According to Gabrielle Roth “The Wave of the rhythms is the key to the whole creative process » (Gabrielle Roth, Sweat Your Prayers, Tarcher, 1998, 217 pages- page194). She quotes different examples of waves: like the metro, trek, gardening, rock’n’roll, ski, storm, fear, selling, and emergency waves – pages 195-213).

 

  •  5Rhythms® applied to project management :

We can recognized each step of the 5Rhythms® in Project Management : 

2 Project Management

The 5Rhythms® in Project Management

1- Flowing : we discover the project, learn more about what we have to do. At this step, we plan things.

2- Staccato : we have a lot of ideas, the process speeds up. We begin to produce documents, write down ideas, have the first meetings, etc.

3- Chaos : we realize that our first ideas may not be the correct solution. We may disagree with our colleagues, and try to find other solutions. We can feel like the project is stuck, that no resolution or solution will be found, we can feel overwhelmed, confused, and directionless.

4- Lyrical : confronting our ideas with others (during the chaos), allowed us to generate new ideas: we now can have energy and momentum to go for it, to create new possibilities for project resolution in a spacious and lighter way.

5- Stillness : we come to the details and work on our project, on this new idea in a way that is more quiet, nearing resolution. We receive what we sowed during the previous steps.

 

  •  The 5Rhythms® corresponds with the divergence/convergence process :
3 creativity

The 5Rhythms® and the Creativity Process

The « Groan Zone », mentioned here, was founded by San Kaner, the senior author of the « Facilitator’s Guide to Participatory Decision-Making » (Sam Kaner, Facilitator’s Guide to Participatory Decision-Making, Jossey-Bass, 2007, 368 pages).

 

We can also propose special tools for each step:

 

The tools proposed correspond to these detailed in the book “Gamestorming” (Dave Gray, Sunni Brown, James Macanufo, Gamestorming, Saint Louis, O’Reilly, 2010, 288 pages).

 

1- Opening : ice-breakers to help people to know each others

2- Divergence : exploring games to encourage creativity

3- « Groan Zone »: the facilitator has a key role at this moment, to explain the situation to the group (meta-analysis) to explain that is normal to feel lost. It is a part of the process that the group needs to go through to find a solution

4- Convergence : closing games to help the group to make a decision

5- Finalization : people leave to room, until the next session

 

Let us know !

Maybe this wave reminds you some project you managed in the past? Or maybe it gives you ideas to manage the project you are doing at the moment? Don’t hesitate to tell us you experience with the 5Rhythms® 🙂

 

Julie Boiveau, graphic facilitator and Anne Marie Hogya, certified teacher of the 5Rhythms®(http://www.annemariehogya.com/)

 

Thank you to Kommunikationslotsen for the visuals inspirations from the Bikablo® books.

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