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#169: "Don't Boil The Ocean"

Posted By Mark Haas CMC FIMC, Thursday, November 5, 2009
Updated: Friday, November 6, 2009
I've heard the phrase, "Don't boil the ocean!" from time to time, but I am not clear on its meaning.

The phrase "Don't boil the ocean" refers to the act of "over-scoping" a project or trying to solve too large a problem (or too many problems at once), thereby making your success at effectively solving it unlikely. It can describe an attempt at achieving something that is too large in scale or way too ambitious. Attempting to "boil" the ocean is not a practical task to take on due to its sheer magnitude and failure is a near certainty.

Tip: Consultants can run the risk of attempting to "boil the ocean" when scoping their projects and must work with their clients to set realistic expectations and successful and timely delivery of results.

© 2009 Institute of Management Consultants USA

Tags:  consulting terminology 

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