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A Project Manager's Guide to a Cinco de Mayo Potluck


Today is Cinco De Mayo, where people eat major amounts of guac in celebration of Mexico’s military victory over France. KellyMitchell’s Cinco de Mayo potluck is well underway in St. Louis. While elbow deep in queso, we wondered how a Project Manager might approach a potluck and what we could learn from it. Here are our thoughts on how to execute your next potluck like a true Project Manager would.

Set the Goal

A good Project Manager knows more than anyone, no planning should start without establishing the project goal. Things can easily veer way off track if there is no clear goal from the get-go.  Are you planning lunch or dinner?  Is this a single, well-rounded meal or a mish-mash of dips to be grazed upon throughout the day?  This will guide the invitation and set the stage for the type of event you are envisioning.

Divide the Work

It's important when planning any project (or potluck) that you create a work breakdown structure, so every player has a job to do, and every phase is completed correctly.   In project management, it is the most overlooked phase is the project end.  It's as important to properly close the project as it was to open it.  This is the same for a potluck, clean-up is often not accounted for, so everyone disperses and leaves trash and cleaning duty to... ? Also, don't overlook utensils, plates, and drinks!


Known as the (taco) meat of the project, the execution phase usually starts with a kickoff, where everyone is reminded of their role and additional tasks are assigned if needed. The most important part of the execution phase of a project is quality assurance. A good project manager knows to looks for problems before as they arise and squash issues before they become catastrophes. A good potluck planner will be keeping an eye on the taco shell count and making arrangements to ensure no one experiences dip level: zero.

Are you planning an office potluck like a pro? Let us know your tips!

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