Tuesday, March 10, 2009

So easy, a chimp can do it

BBC is running a story about a chimp that showed it knew how to plan for the future. Santino, a chimp in the Stockholm zoo, would gather stockpiles of stones every morning before the zoo opened so that he could later throw them at visitors.

Last night, while at the Kansas City PMI Chapter meeting, my table got into a discussion on the attributes of a PM. One person mentioned a PM is organized. When I added that a PM knows how to plan, they questioned if that was the same thing. I said no, you can be organized in the present but not know what you need to do in the future.

So is planning one of the things that sets a good project manager apart? I've been in organizations that reward the "firefighter" - the person that works really hard to solve a crisis. I've always thought that with better planning, some of these fires might be avoided.

On my current project, we had a risk identification meeting last week. That resulted in some additional plans that will hopefully prevent some issues down the road. So take it from a chimp, a little planning can be a good thing.

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