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Project Management Lessons Learned From Texas Hold’em

Deal ‘Em

You might be hesitant to tie Texas Hold’em to project management. After all, one is driven by luck and lies, and the other is a card game.

I’ll give you a minute to stop sighing at that joke.

But in actuality, there is quite a bit that the venerable game of Texas Hold’em shares with Project management. As David Taber explains in this article, both deal with very little in the way of concrete  information at the beginning, and making small decisions early in the “game” have huge consequences later down the line. Another similarity is the understanding that sometimes you’ll need to spend a bit more than what you expected in order to get what you want (whether it’s to win the pot or to successfully complete the contract).

You Don’t Know Your Budget

One of the big lessons that Taber shares is that you only think you know your budget. As he points out, just on the basis of how software budgeting is normally done, which ignores staff time, meetings and other sunk costs:

First, the “invisible, free resources” (often, sleep-deprived employees) are over-allocated, over-consumed and cause big project delays. Second, when things get serious, the explicit, costly resources (often, sleep-deprived consultants) come in and cause big budgetary surprises.

So there's a significant chance you'll underestimate the costs. However, the smart business case doesn't focus as much on costs as on business value. Who cares what you think it will cost as long as the final cost is outweighed by the value achieved?

That last statement is a hard hand to deal your executive suite, however: they certainly want to know how much you think a project will cost. What Taber is suggesting, however, is that more of an emphasis should be placed on the positive value of the project rather than getting the budget exactly right.

Read the full article here:

About Matthew Kabik

Matthew Kabik is the former Editor of Computer Aid’s Accelerating IT Success. He worked at Computer Aid, Inc. from 2008 to 2014 in the Harrisburg offices, where he was a copywriter, swordsman, social media consultant, and trainer before moving into editorial.

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