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5 Things Traveling Taught Me About Project Management

Traveling, like project management, can teach us plenty about first impressions, expectations, and how to get from point A to point B efficiently. From his own experience, Robert Bell has compiled 5 things that traveling has taught him:

  • Avoid Preconceptions
  • First Impressions Are Usually Wrong
  • It’s Not All About Work
  • You Aren’t In Control of Everything
  • Freedom is a Good Thing

When we travel, we tend to have preconceptions of the people and places we visit. More often than not, our preconceptions are incorrect. The very same can be said of project management. Along that same line, as Bell notes, first impressions when traveling and within projects are often wrong: I am not sure if this is just me but the cities I hated at first sight were the ones I ended up spending most time in, while the ones which looked good when I arrived turned out to be a bit too dull for my liking. This got me thinking about how often my first impressions about projects, team members and stakeholders are so often wrong. It seems like it is a better idea to suspend any judgment until you have all of the information you need. Traveling, like project management, is also not all about work. There needs to be some room for enjoyment, and many times project managers forget this. If your team is miserable, your project will suffer. Furthermore, in both instances, you are not in control of everything that occurs. In an ideal world of project management, whatever the project manager says would work out precisely as plan. As we know, this is not an ideal world. Finally, Bell reminds us that freedom is a good thing. Again, a happy project team, just like a happy traveler, is a more successful one.

About Anne Grybowski

Anne is a former staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success, with a degree in Media Studies from Penn State University.

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