All this week we have been looking at complexity:
The second point would form part of the ‘scoping’ phase of a project which -if done correctly- would avoid the first point.
So effective magical scoping is what I want to look at now.
In a perfect world, a project manager would get fully a third of the entire timeline to scope a project. It really is the most important part of the whole enterprise.
Of course, this never happens but it is certainly useful to keep in the back of your mind when you are planning ‘Big Magic’ campaigns. Give yourself double the time you probably think you will need to work everything all out.
The triangle is a splendid way to get your head around what happens in complex activities involving multiple people (and/or spirits) if you are working to a specific restriction or requirement:
If you ‘lock in’ one of these ‘corners’ is fixed it makes the other two vary in inverse proportion to each other.
So if you have a fixed time limit to get results then the ‘quality’ of the results you get will depend on the resources (‘cost’) that you can bring to bear.
If you want a specific level of ‘quality’ in your outcome then this will depend on your available resources and your willingness to wait for results.
And so on around the triangle.
If you want to know what happens when two corners (‘time’ and ‘cost’) are fixed then check out the free ebook.
How to scope ‘Big Magic’
“A project is a temporary endeavor, having a defined beginning and end… (U)ndertaken to meet unique goals and objectives, usually to bring about beneficial change or added value.”
I will add “and most commonly involving more than one person.”
Shit damn if that isn’t also a pretty good definition for practical spellcasting.
So here’s the scoping checklist for enchantment.
- Determine what constitutes success for this spell: Work out exactly what you are trying to achieve. If it’s a wealth spell is it a minimum amount saved? Is it getting your mortgage to a specific point? Is it your third album going triple platinum? (Hey, I said it was ‘Big Magic’, after all.) Just like a movie, if you can’t state this in a single sentence then it’s not a project… It’s a collection of nice, semi-related future events you would like to have happen.
- Divide up into sub-goals: Your success statement is your ultimate outcome. Split this into some sub-goals -again make them definite. “Getting a raise” isn’t a sub-goal. “Achieving an annual salary of $55K” is a sub-goal.
- Identify the critical path: What are the list of steps/events that must happen for your project to be a success. Put them in the order they need to be achieved. This is your critical path. (More information on this in the ebook.)
Everything else comes after
All of this needs to happen before you even get to the stuff people usually start on:
- The project team: Which spirits, gods, etc are to be involved and when.
- The project calendar and materials: What and when you’re going to actually ‘do’ to fire off this enchantment.
If all of this has whetted your appetite then there are a couple of things you can do:
- Recognise you are a massive nerd. Own it and be proud.
- Read the free ebook I picked up a few years ago. There’s a lot of useful stuff in there that you can potentially incorporate into magic. And it’s quite simple too… Definitely well beneath the skills of the guy in the photo to the right (who appears to be very good at multi-tasking. That’s like three tasks at once! Honestly, aren’t stock photos the creepiest things?)
You’ll find the ebook at the bottom of any Rune Soup post when you view it in your feed reader. Of course, this means you’ll have to subscribe to get it. You can unsubscribe straight after, I don’t mind. I’m just testing out a new WordPress plugin and I also don’t want to have to add extra pages to the site every time I want to give something away.
And it’s creative commons so share it around with anyone you like. Seriously, anyone. I didn’t even write it.
Oh, and let me know if the link isn’t working. This is a first for me so there may be some kinks.