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Pamela E Wiedenbeck

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Blogs by Pamela E Wiedenbeck

The Tao of Tsau -- The Unexpected
5/28/2010 11:31:17 AM    [ Flag as Inappropriate ]

"Be sure to get hit in shoulder, not in head."

After watching the concluding episode of 24, I realized that I had lost count of the number of times that Jack Bauer got hit in the shoulder -- and other non-lethal spots -- while he was fighting the forces of evil.  Larger than life characters tend to be able to position themselves to absorb the unexpected so that the blows are seldom life-threatening.

Project managers need to develop the same kind of expertise.  The unexpected in a project is the norm rather than the exception.  However, if the unexpected event (the unknown unknown in risk terminology) is aimed at the critical path or a critical resource or a critical stakeholder, the blow to the project could truly be in the "head" and not the "shoulder".

Most project managers take risk management and mitigation seriously.  It is expected that particularly known unknowns be evaluated, discussed and contingencies sketched out.  However, no one on the inside of a project is particularly talented about thinking outside of the box when it comes to looking for the large, nuclear projectiles that often take a project down.

Project managers will be well advised to have a trusted colleague in another discipline on the risk review committee.  The new eyes and ears can often expose a weakness in the project that would cause the unexpected event to home in on the project's brains or heart.  At least being aware of how to deflect the blow to a less vulnerable part of the project can protect both the project and project manager from a fatal blow.

In terms of survivability, project managers have to be alot like Jack Bauer -- cognizant of the high risk low probability events that can cause fatal damage, so that appropriate contingencies and actions can be thought of in advance.



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More Blogs by Pamela E Wiedenbeck
• Life Interrupting Writing - Saturday, March 19, 2011
• NaNoWriMo Day 26: 50025 words - Friday, November 26, 2010
• NaNoWriMo Day 25: 48776 Words - Thursday, November 25, 2010
• NaNoWriMo Day 24: 47072 Words - Wednesday, November 24, 2010
• NaNoWriMo Day 23: 45313 Words - Tuesday, November 23, 2010
• NaNoWriMo Day 22: 43022 Words - Monday, November 22, 2010
• NaNoWriMo Day 21: 40973 Words - Sunday, November 21, 2010
• NaNoWriMo Day 20: 39285 Words - Saturday, November 20, 2010
• NaNoWriMo Day 19: 37,423 Words - Friday, November 19, 2010
• NaNoWriMo Day 18: 35478 Words - Thursday, November 18, 2010
• NaNoWriMo Day 17: 33714 Words - Wednesday, November 17, 2010
• NaNoWriMo Day 16: 31977 words - Tuesday, November 16, 2010
• NaNoWritMo Day 15: 30109 words - Monday, November 15, 2010
• NaNoWriMo Day 14: 27162 Words - Sunday, November 14, 2010
• NaNoWriMo Day 12: 23087 Words - Friday, November 12, 2010
• NaNoWriMo Day 11: 21941 words - Thursday, November 11, 2010
• NaNoWriMo Day 10: 20201 Words - Wednesday, November 10, 2010
• NaNoWriMo Day 9: 18516 words - Tuesday, November 09, 2010
• NaNoWriMo Day 8: 16883 Words - Monday, November 08, 2010
• NaNoWriMo Day 7: 15198 words - Sunday, November 07, 2010
• NaNoWriMo Day 6: 11754 words - Saturday, November 06, 2010
• NaNoWriMo Day 5: 10122 Words - Friday, November 05, 2010
• NaNoWriMo Day 4: 7198 Words - Thursday, November 04, 2010
• NaNoWriMo Day 3: 5471 words - Wednesday, November 03, 2010
• NaNoWriMo Day 2: 3483 Words - Tuesday, November 02, 2010
• NaNoWriMo Day 1: 1767 Words - Monday, November 01, 2010
• The Tao of Tsau: Effect of Your Decisions - Monday, August 30, 2010
• The Tao of Tsau: Sense of Humor - Wednesday, August 18, 2010
• The Tao of Tsau - The Learning Journal - Tuesday, August 17, 2010
• The Tao of Tsau: Are you on the right bus? - Wednesday, August 11, 2010
• The Tao of Tsau: Progress - Tuesday, August 10, 2010
• The Tao of Tsau: Timing - Monday, August 09, 2010
• The Tao of Tsau: Flexibility - Thursday, August 05, 2010
• The Tau of Tsau: Living - Wednesday, August 04, 2010
• The Tao of Tsau: Vacation - Friday, July 16, 2010
• The Tao of Tsau: Knowledge - Wednesday, July 14, 2010
• The Tao of Tsau: Attitude - Tuesday, July 13, 2010
• The Tao of Tsau: Urgency - Monday, July 12, 2010
• The Tao of Tsau: Collaboration - Friday, July 09, 2010
• The Tao of Tsau: Patience - Thursday, July 08, 2010
• The Tao of Tsau: Common Sense, The Sequel - Wednesday, July 07, 2010
• The Tao of Tsau: Deadlines - Tuesday, July 06, 2010
• The Tao of Tsau: Leaving a Legacy - Friday, July 02, 2010
• The Tao of Tsau: Status - Thursday, July 01, 2010
• The Tao of Tsau: Conflict - Wednesday, June 30, 2010
• The Tao of Tsau: Micromanagement - Tuesday, June 29, 2010
• The Tao of Tsau: Low Priorities - Thursday, June 24, 2010
• The Tao of Tsau: Creative Panic - Wednesday, June 23, 2010
• Poetry of Esther Parent Durocher: My Punishment - Tuesday, June 22, 2010
• Poetry of Esther Parent Durocher: The Island of Dreams - Tuesday, June 22, 2010
• The Tao of Tsau: Listening - Tuesday, June 22, 2010
• Poetry of Esther Parent Durocher: Winter - Monday, June 21, 2010
• The Tao of Tsau: Are you doing the right thing? - Monday, June 21, 2010
• The Poetry of Esther Parent Durocher: In Memoriam of Lauretta Delisle who died May 16, 1910 - Friday, June 18, 2010
• The Tao of Tsau: Servant Leadership - Friday, June 18, 2010
• Poetry of Esther Parent Durocher: A Boy's Dream of Thanksgiving - Thursday, June 17, 2010
• The Tao of Tsau: Business - Thursday, June 17, 2010
• Poetry of Esther Parent Durocher: Farewell to the Brook - Wednesday, June 16, 2010
• The Tao of Tsau: Surprises - Wednesday, June 16, 2010
• Poetry of Esther Parent Durocher: Forget-Me-Not - Tuesday, June 15, 2010
• The Tao of Tsau: Common Sense - Tuesday, June 15, 2010
• Poetry of Esther Parent Durocher: A Summer Maid - Monday, June 14, 2010
• The Tao of Tsau: Ongoing Communications - Monday, June 14, 2010
• The Tao of Tsau: Scope - Thursday, June 10, 2010
• Poetry of Esther Durocher: Nothing at All - Wednesday, June 09, 2010
• Poetry of Esther Parent Durocher: An Epitaph - Wednesday, June 09, 2010
• The Tao of Tsau: Satisfaction - Wednesday, June 09, 2010
• The Tao of Tsau -- Tools - Tuesday, June 08, 2010
• Poetry of Esther Parent Durocher: A Kiss - Monday, June 07, 2010
• The Tao of Tsau: Priorities - Monday, June 07, 2010
• Poetry of Esther Parent Durocher: My Little Man - Friday, June 04, 2010
• The Tao of Tsau -- Second Chances - Friday, June 04, 2010
• The Tao of Tsau -- Knowing - Thursday, June 03, 2010
• The Tao of Tsau -- Commitment - Wednesday, June 02, 2010
• The Tao of Tsau -- On Teamwork - Tuesday, June 01, 2010
•  The Tao of Tsau -- The Unexpected - Friday, May 28, 2010  
• The Tao of Tsau -- Value of All Work - Thursday, May 27, 2010
• The Tao of Tsau: Consulting Engagements - Wednesday, May 26, 2010
• The Tao of Tsau -- Productivity: Persistence - Friday, May 21, 2010
• The Tao of Tsau -- Productivity: Others - Thursday, May 20, 2010
• The Tao of Tsau - Centering - Wednesday, May 19, 2010


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