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Key Learning #1: The Brain Surgeon Paradigm

Over the last 17 years, as project management has become more common in organisations, I've noticed one major recurring error made by otherwise brilliant managers.

Thursday 26 February 2015

Imagine that your very best friend was an eminent Brain Surgeon and that you needed a heart operation. Regardless of how great a Brain Surgeon your friend was, how comfortable would you feel about asking him/her to perform open heart surgery on you?

Like me, you'd probably not be feeling too comfortable about that. 

And yet all too often I see otherwise brilliant Managers attempting the equivalent of an open heart surgery when they step into the very specialised role of Project Team Manager.

What many people don't have the opportunity to truly appreciate is that the success of a project requires bringing together a number of critical specialist areas whether your following PMBOK, Prince2, Agile, MSP etc as well as a range of capabilities in people and team leadership.  This extends beyond the immediate project team to include managing relationships with key stakeholders, sponsors, suppliers, SME's and many more.

When faced with such complexity many of the most experienced managers unwittingly fall prey to the dangers of The Brain Surgeon Paradigm.

 Who is the best person to lead your next project?


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