Project Management

5 Project Management Tips from Ocean’s 11

All the academic study in the world won’t do you a lick of good without some good ol’ context. As John Casey of The Imperic writes, observing effective project management habits starts by reading books and interacting in the workplace, but it all comes together when you watch the movie Ocean’s 11. Read on to learn how.

Clarity of Vision

The first lesson is to be dead on with your project goals. If you’re trying to rob the vaults of three separate casinos in a single night, state as much on a white board for everyone to see.

Finding Financial Sponsors

Sponsors are extremely important to a successful project. They provide the “guns,” so to speak, the equipment and financing to ensure that everything runs optimally. Equally crucial is the involvement of stakeholders who will provide direct feedback on the project’s progress.

Different PMs, Different Strengths

A project manager tends to be of either one ilk or another. Either they are great at dealing with the sponsor, having an overall vision of the project and playing the lead (personified by George Clooney’s character, Danny), or they’re a more down-and-dirty, details-oriented type who gets involved in recruiting skilled individuals and in calculating the individual tasks required for success (Brad Pitt’s character, Rusty). Point being, stick to what you’re good at and delegate accordingly.

A Team of Diverse Skill Sets

As skills sets will vary widely, depending on the type of project being undertaken, you’ll want to focus on getting the best drivers, con artists and contortionists you can find. In other words, make sure your skill sets align with project objectives.

Remain Calm under Duress

Because of the nature of your job, at some point you’re bound to run into some Barney…Barney Rubble…TROUBLE! Some code isn’t completed on time, the batteries needed to detonate your explosives happen to be dead, it happens! When faced with these situations, stay calm and think through the problem carefully – no matter the stakes.

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Eric Anderson

Eric Anderson is a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. He is an intern at Computer Aid Inc., pursuing his master's degree in communications at Penn State University.

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