The Barber Shop

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bp 36 Before reporting to work this morning, I visited my local barber shop for a haircut.  There were already several men around, and the conversation bounced around from topics like good coffee, muscle cars from the late 60s, the weather, buying land, and events at an automotive assembly plant.  As I observed the shop, I noticed vintage barber tools on display as well as many items of nostalgia on the walls.

I felt comfortable in the setting; I believe I could have brought up any topic of conversation without ridicule, judgment, or even being thrown out!  I could have asked how to repair anything around the home or business.  I could have learned from the experiences of those who have already dealt with problems or issues that I am sure to confront in my life.

Yes, sir.  I think there was a lot of collective wisdom in that one spot.

So, with that in mind, I am thinking…  Where can a project manager go today to find a similar environment?  I mean, there’s not a garage where you can bring in your project plan and put it up on the rack to check underneath for any issues…   I don’t see a project doctor advertising for well-project visits or even an emergency room where you can come get some needed stitches in your project.

Deeper reflection, however, reminds me of the other project managers with whom I have worked.  I also am thinking about the many PMs that I know from my participation of my local PMI chapter dinner meetings.  I am remembering the Project Management Community of Practice sessions where peers came together to discuss best practices and learn from each other.  I guess there does exist collective wisdom about project management that is readily accessible to me.  So, I guess that PM tool that is so very common – you know – expert judgment – doesn’t mean just my judgment, but the collective wisdom that I can tap into when needed or desired.

Not that my project is shaggy and needs a trim, but maybe I’ll find a group of PMs sitting around ready to talk about any project topic and share their lessons learned in a comfortable and accepting environment…

Hey, have a great day.  And don’t hesitate to chat about project management with others today.  You may actually supply the missing piece to somebody else’s puzzle…