I’ve seen it done…so I’m now an expert?

This year I was fortunate enough to be staying with relatives in the south of France for a few days. This, by coincidence, was right when the Tour de France was coming through that area. Pretty cool.

Now I ride a bike. Not brilliantly, but I can keep up with friends over a reasonable distance. I walked along the beautifully smooth roads near the house and watched tourists ride along them with big smiles on their faces. I was able to see in my mind how nice the ride would be.

As a cyclist myself, I can appreciate the fun and the feeling of the ride. Does this mean that I could take part in the tour?

You can all stop laughing now….ok, it is a bit funny to think of me in that event!

Just because I’ve ridden a bit, and seen the course, and even seen some of the riders, that by no means makes me a suitable candidate for a member of the peloton.

Now take yourself to the workplace. You’ve picked up a Prince2 textbook. You’ve even been in a meeting where a Project was discussed. Surely it can’t be too hard to just manage it yourself? Wouldn’t that save a few dollars? I mean, you’re a manager, you can do projects, sight?

Inexperience in actually designing, delivering, and controlling a project is one of the more common reasons why things don’t go to plan. It’s often why benefits aren’t realised and why things take longer and cost more than you thought.

Or why people just give up on the whole thing!

In recruitment for operational people you almost never see an ad without a phrase like “must have so many years experience”….yet people everywhere seem to think that projects are just something that anyone can do.

It will almost always be faster, cheaper, and achieve better results by bringing in someone who has actually delivered projects before and does this a lot. They have learned from mistakes, from successes and know what is important to control tightly and what can be let go. They can also advise on which projects aren’t set up to succeed.

If you want a project done well, bring in someone who has the real life experience in delivering, not just a piece of paper. You can learn to deliver a project, with time, and practice and support.

Just like riding a bike!

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Nathan Jones