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Project Management, Family Style

November 19, 2010

Late in life, I stumbled across a document on project management.  It read like Martians had written it.

I am not the corporate type. I am not the type who joins organizations or clubs. I am barely the type who can drive.

I have led projects, but until now I have never read about how to lead them. It was by the grace of God that anything happened as it should have. Now I am reading this document, I see what was missing.

My projects didn’t know they were projects.

My projects had more the feel of a nutty family putting on Thanksgiving dinner.

Whose family? I’ll let you guess:

Act 1, scene 1

Did you pick up the turkey?

I can’t hear you! I’m in the basement

I said: did you pick up the turkey?

It’s in the freezer

The freezer? When are the guests coming?

At four. Why?

Well, if the turkey’s in the freezer I was thinking — doesn’t it need a few hours to defrost?

Yeah. Ted said he’d take it out but I guess he didn’t

Shit. Yeah, it takes a few hours at least.

You know, you look really good.  What have you done to your hair?

Maybe we could put it in the microwave.

Let’s look it up on the internet. Yep, it says here you CAN defrost a turkey in the microwave. It only takes an hour. Then you can put it straight in the oven.

Can you — oh, I see you’re busy — hmmm I wonder who could — there goes a policeman — maybe he knows how. I’ll ask him if he can come in for a moment and help us

Sir, can you help us defrost a turkey? We have guests coming in a few hours and we forgot to take it out. We still have to roast it

You know, you look really good in that outfit.

You too. You look great.  Listen, I wish we had more time but I’ve got to get that turkey out of the freezer before the guests arrive…

Thank goodness I now have a template for averting such a slow-motion disaster. The turkey gets roasted, the guests eat, the policeman goes about his business and nobody gets hurt.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Matt Nicodemus permalink
    November 20, 2010 6:18 am

    Michele, I want a Pt. II follow-up on this from you! More details about what’s in the magic book, and what new realizations your newly gained knowledge produces…

    Forwarding this piece to a playwright friend (who’s a model of organization for me)…

  2. Jan Baiden permalink
    November 21, 2010 5:26 pm

    So funny, too true. Alas.

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