Posted tagged ‘teamwork’

Pit Crew or Family Truckster?

May 29, 2010

I am sure many of us have been the primary driver on a long vacation trip with one or more kids in the back of the van.  As the primary driver, if you’re like me, you take a bit of time to plan a route, figure out roughly how long it will take, where some smart places to stop along the way might be, how to avoid peak traffic driving around the DC beltway (by the way, that part turns out to be impossible…) and stocking up on maps or programming your GPS.  You also plan clever answers for the fifty or so times that one of the ‘back seat passengers’ asks if we’re halfway there yet.


Given that this is the weekend of the Indy 500, I was thinking that Helio Castroneves probably doesn’t have to go through a similar routine with his pit crew.   Even though I don’t follow NASCAR or the Formula I racing closely, I suspect that even though their pit crews never actually get behind the wheel of the race car, they are 100% engaged in the planning and race strategy, but more importantly, in gauging during the race how the car is performing, what place they are in, how many laps there are to go, how their job relates to the overall chances of winning the race and what they can do to ensure victory.

Having spent the last few weeks with several clients debating the role of project managers in their organizations, it occurs to me if I were a project team member, I’d would rather be thought of as part of the pit crew and get engaged with the project planning and progress measurement accordingly.  And if I were a project manager, I’d much rather have a pit crew than a disengaged bunch of passengers.

So if you’re being honest with yourself, what’s your organization driving these days??  A Formula I race car or the family truckster???