With our elephant stored the next step in the process would be to cook and prepare it for consumption. My students in the past have come up with a variety of recipes and ways of cooking the elephant as raw elephant is probably only for the predators out there. Recipes have included Jumbo Jambalaya, Barbar Burgers and for the carnivores BBQ and slow roasted versions.
Consuming the elephant comes next and I have had a few students suggest "with a knife and fork" - how very civilised. Others have suggested inviting a large number of friends to participate in the process, many hands make light work after all.
In addition to the chronological and completer finisher responses offered I have had other suggestions to the proposition that have all sought to evade the challenge altogether. Paying someone else to consume the elephant is a popular call along with simply refusing to tackle the challenge.
Among the more interesting responses have been the following.
Ask others how they did it?
Make an elephant out of something more appealing and eat that.
Intriguingly over all the years that I have been asking this question of my students only three people have ever some up with the following suggestion which is an interesting reflection on human nature and to an extent the antithesis of good project management.
"I'll eat the tasty bits first!"
Apart from knowing what is and is not tasty this answer provides an interesting insight into human nature and a classic problem addressed by effective project management. We tend to do the things that we like doing and postpone or avoid those things that we dislike, the result being that the longer we leave it the worse it gets - the classic self fulfiling prophecy.
In project management the focus is upon doing what needs to be done when it needs to be done. This can mean having to tackle some less than tasty activities early on but the benefit is that there can also sometimes be something to look forward to apart obviously from the end of the project itself.