How Can Benjamin Franklin Manage Your Innovation Project?


When it comes to Time Management and Decision Making, few thought leaders have come close to longer lasting methods than those of Benjamin Franklin.

The cornerstone of Innovation Engineering, project management bases itself on managing Milestones, Death Threats, and Tasks in order to make decisions and deliver your projects faster.

Time Management

Many of FranklinÕs time management methods can be applied to your own daily improvement of habits, as well as projects using the Innovation Engineering methods. In this article, the author mentions three key elements that are present in FranklinÕs methods:

  1. He started out committed to the new behavior.
  2. He worked on only one habit at a time.
  3. He put in place visual reminders.

When applying these to furthering your innovation projects we can come up with a few aspects based on FranklinÕs virtues and base methods of time management:

  • Set your priorities up front
  • Only work on items that fall within your priorities. Say NO to the rest.
  • Break your roadblocks into manageable tasks.
  • Kill unworthy projects faster.
  • Document everything to keep everyone informed - and to keep learning every day.
Decision Making

Ben Franklin also pioneered the idea of the "pros-and-cons list" in which he would write down over a span of a few days, the pros and cons of an important decision.Once the list was complete he would strike out any pros that had the same "weight" as a con in the list (sometimes striking out two from one column if they together weighed the equal of one on the other column).Once there was nothing left to strike out - he would make his informed decision.

Good decision making practices can cut failure rates nearly in half.