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Wrestling with Project Management

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bp 34OK, time for all of the children to leave the room.  I have some controversial statements to make…

Professional wrestling is scripted.  It is entertainment at its core.

However, every event, punch, toss, scream, or commentary is not necessarily in the script!

Here are a couple of terms to help differentiate the script from reality.  The term “work” refers to the case of an entertainer staying on script, on plan.  The term “shoot” applies to the embellishment or real turn of events that are off-script sometimes sparked by anger, pain, or just plain meanness!

So, is professional wrestling fake?  Is it all “work” and no “shoot?”  You be the judge…

With that in mind, is project management fake?  It also has “work” and “shoot.”  No, I am not talking about an arena with thousands of onlookers and millions watching via television while a few PMs throw change requests at each other!  Careful!  You could put an eye out there, buddy! 

Rather, think of the project management plan as the script.  When we are creating the plan, we are scripting exactly how the “work” should be performed.  But because we all know this word – variance – we know that there is always a difference between planned and actual.  This is where “shoot” comes in.  How we handle the unscripted events conveys a lot about how well we can wrestle with a project.  The real turn of events that show up – unscripted – unscheduled – unbudgeted – totally unplanned!  Why does this situation not show up on my risk register!  As PM, you might find yourself face down in the squared circle in an over-and-under-hammer-locked-leg-breaker, and before the lights totally dim, you just want to cry “Uncle!

How you script the “work” exhibits your planning skills!  How you manage the “shoot” will speak to your execution skills!  

Is project management fake?!  Absolutely not!  So get into that ring – if you think you have the right stuff…

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