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  • Two Heads Are Better Than One… Beware of Two Plans…



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    August 23rd, 2012

    “The very worst fire plan is no plan. The next worse is two plans.” ~Author Unknown 

    Two heads are better than one” according to John Heywood in 1546 – but two plans or more are certainly not when it comes to managing a project team!

    The quotes at the beginning of the article that follows struck me for many reasons, not the least of which is how difficult it is to manage a project when all of the team members are not clear on what the plan is and therefore develop their own plan or work without one.

    Especially if you are managing a project team made up of some or all team members that you have worked with before, and even if the team is comprised of mostly folks with whom you have worked, establishing and communicating a solid plan is essential.  Ensuring everyone understands the plan and their part of it well is essential.

    Brainstorming sessions are often a fantastic method for establishing the best plan.  Bringing everyone’s ideas together based on prior experience, company knowledge and industry expertise will certainly bring to light a host of great do’s and don’ts that need to be considered when constructing a plan.  This is true for a new project and for a plan for a newly introduced element of an existing project.  That said, once all of the various perspectives have been considered, a clear, concise plan must be outlined and communicated to the team.   All team members must be marching in lockstep towards the finish line, working together and individually to achieve the goal as planned.

    The following article is written based on a comparison of firefighters to project managers.  While you most likely do not have or need the number of training hours (600!) described in the article if you are managing a relatively small team, communication and understanding of THE plan is crucial.

    Another analogy I liked when reading this article is fighting fires which we all have done at one point or another in our careers as Project Managers:  fighting figurative fires.  Having contingency plans – and communication plans regarding how to handle unexpected delays, problems and obstacles – for when we go into firefighting mode is most helpful.

    Do you have ONE plan in place for the project you are working on regardless of its complexity? And given the number of heads – two or more – involved in the project, does everyone know what it is?  Ask them and you will know!

    To read about Project Management and Fire Service Are There Lessons to be Shared visit http://pmoracles.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/6-General-Article-Project-Management-and-Fire-Service-Are-there-Lessons-to-be-Shared-Final.pdf

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    Cite this blog post:
    MLA: “Two Heads Are Better Than One… Beware of Two Plans…” MSS. MSS. Blog. 08 April 2015.
    APA:  (2012, Aug 23). Two Heads Are Better Than One… Beware of Two Plans…”