Soccer lessons for project managers

Stefan Priebsch on…Soccer
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It is not an easy task being a project manager, there are no simple ways of getting to your end goal no matter how much you prepare in advance. You need to figure out a way to avoid the obstacles that are involved, but how does one do this?

Let me teach you how to play soccer. To make the lesson more interesting, let us aim for an interesting goal. So, how do you win the Euro 2012? Or, to look ahead instead of back, how do you become a soccer world champion? The answer is really easy: win every game (slightly different rules apply in the first phase of the tournament, but let us simplify a things a bit). How do you win a game? The answer is really easy: you score more goals than the opponent. It does not even matter how many goals the opponent scores, you just have to have more.

OK, last dumb rhetorical question for today: How do you score a goal? You guessed it, the answer is really easy: the ball has to end up in the opponent’s goal (to make the game more interesting, they switch goals half way through the game). Now let the game begin. Walk comfortably towards the opponent’s goal, and score. As you may have guessed, now is the time when the trouble starts.

The opponent is acting out a clever plan to win the game: First and foremost, this implies putting obstacles in your way. No problem, you say, we will just run towards the goal as quickly as we can, save time, and make it impossible for the opponent to stand in our way.


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