Project Management

The Fantastic Four vs. Auditman

It should come as no surprise that life is not a fairytale. All those pictures we had in our heads as young ones of how would we grow up, where we’d live, and the type of job we’d hold have most likely, with the exception of a few, gone awry. The business world is not as glamorous as it’s cracked up to be in motion pictures and sitcoms but, the truth is, it doesn’t have to be nor is it supposed to be. Especially where start-ups and new businesses are concerned, it is more about getting the job done quickly and efficiently minus the glitz and glam of having a profound life changing experience every time you step foot into the office. In this PM Hut article, author Greg Shamieh discusses how maybe we don’t need superheroes, but rather “predictable, utterly dramatic boredom.”

The World of Superheroes

In seemingly impossible problems, superheroes usually throw themselves into the situation, hoping that “the flash of insight needed to get through it will occur,” helps when it exactly needs to, and just in time to save the day. It’s a thrill. These kinds of employees deserve respect, but their achievements do not come without struggles. Long sleepless nights, cruel deadlines, hair pulling… Shamieh adds:

It’s like we want to see the flashing capes, see Mr. Fantastic stretching his mind and his body to solve the unsolvable, not see the Invisible Woman as she manipulates things we cannot perceive, see The Thing crush […] We want to see the full superheroic arsenal – intellect, physicality, raw power, excitement, explosions – on full display in the achievement of our technological goals. […] It only takes a minute’s introspection, however, to really understand that in the world of technology and technology service, we shouldn’t be craving this kind of excitement, when what we really need is predictable, utterly undramatic boredom. When we contract with a partner to complete a technology implementation, we don’t want Mr. Fantastic, we want Auditman – easily identified by his green eyeshade and readers.

What we need is repeatability and predictability, only caused by expert and technically informed project planning, mature processes and disciplined execution. The idea of superheroes is nice, and we all need our heroes. However, Shamieh says, “Just save them for the comics.”

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