Project Management – A GameMuhammad Zeeshan Ali, PMP, PMI-ACP
I have always been a big sports fan, mainly because of two reasons; first is that I always enjoy playing, as well as watching sports, and they are excellent sources of entertainment. Second is that I find Sports and Project Management disciplines having some very important similarities. Any successful sportsman and project managers will agree with me that these similar characteristics are key to success in both the disciplines.
It may be an individual or team sport but in both cases there is a full team to take care of different activities. Similarly in Project Management, there may be multiple technical and domain experts but the Project Manager is the one that is leading the side.
First of all, both disciplines require participants to be disciplined, organized and have relevant skills to excel in their respective domains. The participants train and practice for years to improve and become better everyday.
Both disciplines require participants to indulge in extensive planning and then go through real time execution and during that execution phase, the participants are faced with new challenges on every corner. The participants have to make expert judgement regarding some challenges and sometimes don’t have much time for that.
Both have guidance, coaches, frameworks, historic data but yet in both cases, the person involved has to make run-time decisions. Both disciplines have to go through lesson learned activity once its over and based on the information, new learnings are added to the knowledge base.
In both cases, the strategy is based around motivating individuals and similarly the focus is more on people rather than processes. Both require a high level of agility to get the actual work done and gain the required motives. Similarly both have specific roles and yet each role may overlap with some other to gain a competitive advantage.
In both cases, there are consultants to provide training and guidance, both on and off the field. Also there is technology to assist in better and calculated decision making Yet the competition is growing with each day in both fields and that is always a good sign.