Some projects are supposed to take weeks and end up spanning months. Meanwhile others are supposed to be done by next quarter and end up taking years.
All project managers know this pain. In fact, if there’s one thing you can count on in project management, it’s that you can’t really count on anything. New risks can emerge. Collaborators can drop out and be added at the last minute. Stakeholder input can get your workflow completely off track.
And, inevitably, your timeline gets extended.
But the good news — and there is good news — is this: No matter how convoluted, drawn out, and unpredictable your project timeline is, there are always some project timelines that are worse.
Here’s a look at three famously prolonged project timelines that might provide some inspiration and even make you say, “Phew. At least mine’s not *that* bad!”
1. Basilica de la Sagrada Familia
The cornerstone for Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia basilica was laid in 1882 — over 140 years ago — and it’s still not done to this day. In fact, it’s not expected to be finished until 2026 at the earliest. That means architect Antoni Gaudí, who died in 1926, was never able to see his iconic monument fully realized. But fingers crossed it can be completed before the 150-year mark!
Why is it taking so long? In short, it’s been plagued by challenges like permit applications, fines, delays, and even destroyed or lost plans.
2. Great Wall of China
Move over, Sagrada Familia. The Great Wall of China famously took over 2,000 years to complete. Spanning more than 13,000 miles, the mammoth project was originally devised by Emperor Qin Shi Huang in the third century B.C. And much of its construction can be traced back to the fifth century B.C. Over those 2,000 years, the Wall went through numerous fortifications, extensions, and changes in leadership.
3. New York’s Second Avenue subway
Engineer Daniel L. Turner first proposed a Second Avenue subway line in the 1920s in order to accommodate increased traffic in New York City. He unknowingly set in motion one of the world’s most expensive transit projects — at roughly $2.5 billion per mile — which still remains incomplete. This 100-year stretch isn’t too surprising, either. After all, this project has suffered through The Great Depression, World War II, the Korean War, and many political changes.
While the first portion of the subway line finally opened in 2017, the rest of the project is now projected to be completed within a decade thanks to a new federal infrastructure bill.
Build more efficient project management timelines
Sure, you may not be constructing a Wonder of the World or a Roman Catholic temple, but you’ve likely been caught managing a runaway project timeline at least once. And chances are, it’ll happen again.
So, what can you do about it? You need the right tools to help you navigate those inevitable interruptions and shifts in your workflow. That’s why portfolio management experts built Proggio — an adaptive PPM that you can use to plan, share, track, and visualize your entire portfolio in one place.
Hoping to finish your next project in less than 2,000 years? Streamline your project management with Proggio.