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Football fever is already in the air! Kids are out of school for summer vacation, and I just spent the last weekend watching dozens of club teams compete for national championships. Camps are ending and pre-season games are upon us. Yes, it’s time for some football!
An interesting project management lesson was taught—and learned—by the players I was watching during the summer: No teams lost games when preventing their opponents from scoring! Said simply, defense wins game.
How do we build a championship through defense? The name of the game is field position and exploiting the defense, when and if you can. The offense’s job is to create holes in the defense, so the runner can get through without being tackled. The defense’s job is to plug those holes. They use a swarming defense. They know that if they can’t be scored on, they can’t lose. This is how teams with mediocre offenses can still have a winning season. This should be your starting position.
What if your offense isn’t so great? For example, even when there’s not as much business around as before, how do great construction teams still win? Believe it or not, the answer is the same as that of a successful football team: great defense. Remember, if they can’t score on you, they can’t win.
Let’s look at the practical lesson here for us. Say you take on a really tight job with no fluff and no contingencies in there. You just bid this one to get this one, because you really, really, really needed the work. Ever been there? I have. You figure if the job goes well, you’ll cover your costs, pay your people and suppliers, stay in business, and continue to look for other work on other days. Well, you can do this a time or two, as long as you don’t give away any freebies, because you have nothing in the budget to allow that. But you had better plug those holes. Shore up your defense, if you want to win this game and come back for another season.
Are you feeling guilty about having to field such a tough defense? Lots of contractors are. They love being seen as easy to work with and agreeable. Those things are nice, and it’s great to work that way during normal times. But we’re a long way from normal these days, don’t you agree?
Building your team
Some project owners are seeing this economy as a great opportunity to build at lower costs. How? They are relying upon you to be a better “team player” and do some things for free by just “throwing them in” to the deal. In other words, they intend to try and exploit your defense! They’re looking for holes in the D-line. They want to shoot the gaps in your defensive scheme.
Team, it’s time to put your first-string defense out on the field. And maybe it’s now time to draft a couple of free agents. Get some coaching. Get some help. Get going!
|Last Updated on Tuesday, 01 September 2009 19:00|