Monday, August 03, 2009

Project Management is Like a Banana Split

Project Management is Like a Banana Split

My wife and I shared a Banana Split the other evening in Ocean Grove. We try to do that once a year.

I got to thinking (afterwards of course) how Project Management is like sharing a Banana Split.

  • It's a joint effort - you need a team to tackle the project (even if you can eat the whole thing alone, think about the team that brought all the parts together: creating ingredients delivering them, building that banana split, and then eating it!
  • Building (and eating) a Banana Split is a temporary endeavor to produce a product or service (Now, that's the definition of project management and a Banana Split certainly fits that)
  • Projects also have lots of different flavors
  • Project team members come in lots of different flavors too
  • You need to give the cherry to someone else (the cherry tops the Sunday and it's fun to give it away, just like it's best to give the credit for the project to the team and the sponsor)
  • Sometimes when the job is done (like when you're done eating a Banana Split), you're 100% successful, yet there is a sticky mess left behind, but nobody is all too concerned about it!
This reminds me of a team I worked with in another country. We had a tough task ahead of us. It was a hot summer day and the schedule was very tight (requiring long hours). One of the team leads suggested we buy ice cream for everyone. We got management approval and went and bought an ice cream for every member of the team. Now, that's a reward that goes a long way!

I'd like to see your comments about how Project Management is Like a Banana Split!


Steve S said...

Indeed you are correct Henry in your analogy. I have managed teams all over the world working on the same project and the your object lesson is without question correct. My only problem is there are are never quite enough cherries to go around. As for the sticky mess left over, well that's our jobs as the chief cook and bottle washers to clean up. A small price to pay to know in your heart that your a Project or in my case a Program Management God.

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