December 1, 2014 1 Comment
In lieu of the holiday season, I thought it might be both whimsical and informative to determine what might be on the average project manager’s wish list when it comes to the type of ‘presents’ they would not mind receiving.
Unfortunately, most of the types of things a project manager might wish for probably do not exist in reality. Nonetheless, as a bit of tongue and cheek homage to the holidays, here are some of the things I certainly would not mind receiving for Christmas not only for their ability to make my job easier, but because they would be cool. :-)
Feel free to add some of your Project Management Wish List ideas in the comments section.
My Top Ten Holiday Wish List
1. Electroshock Through Telephony Device
For those frustrating meetings where someone just refuses to shut up or is being stubborn. How nice would it be to be able to press one button and send them some gentle encouragement regarding their viewpoint. Just be mindful of which button you press lest you accidentally shock the project sponsor. :-)
2. Scope Creep Magic Eraser
Make that pesky scope creep vanish before your eyes! Let’s face it, there isn’t a project manager on this planet that hasn’t come close to having a stroke every time a team member, stakeholder or sponsor has decided last minute to add that ‘one little thing’. And of course, always ensuring us that the change is ‘minor’ and will have ‘little impact’. Guess our notion of the words ‘minor’ and ‘little’ are a tad different from those we often work with.
3. Resource Matter Transporter & Replicator
Actually a combination of two technologies: a replicator, that can create or duplicate objects from a template and a transporter to send objects anywhere. Gone will be the days where resources are a limited concept; instead, they can be shifted and moved at a moments notice. Need a resource? Fire up the replicator! Need that resource to be in New York tomorrow? Fire up the transporter! (Note: if I could actually invent either of these devices, I would not be a project manager anymore; I’d be lounging on Richard Branson’s island having margaritas with the Swedish Bikini Team)
4. The TARDIS from Doctor Who
Travel to any time or any place. Imagine being able to take the project stakeholders for a ride into the future to show them the project failing due to scope they just asked to add. Or go back in time to tell yourself that some of your resources will be taken away shortly, so adjust your schedule ahead of time! Mind you, if I had a TARDIS, I would probably just travel back in time and tell my younger self to go to Med School instead. :-)
5. A Star Trek Phaser
It’s a phaser. Do I really need to say more? And note: this is not a cheesy JJ Abrams pee shooter or a lame Next Gen Dust Buster. I am talking old school, solid beam of vaporizing energy phaser of the Kirk era. Can stun a Klingon at a hundred yards. And also, I am pretty non-violent, so I would only vaporize non-organic things, like a TPS report or the latest HR newsletter. I would have fun with the stun setting though. If someone really gets under your skin, you could zap them all day. :-)
6. A Crystal Ball
Moving from the science fiction to the fantasy fiction realms, how handy would it be to just ‘know’ the future? To be able to gaze into the haze of a swirling mass of vapor within a spherical shell and be able to ascertain EXACTLY how elements of your project and its timeline will unfold. To be fair, I have come across many individuals in Northern California who claim they have seen ‘amazing things’ after having partaken into inhaling vapors from some of the local fauna in the area. Not exactly the same thing, I know.
7. Romulan Cloaking Device
The ability to become invisible at a moment’s notice. Comes in handy when you are attempting to get through the day with minimal interruptions. (Note: the cloak from Harry Potter would work here as well, but I wanted something that could make a large area invisible, in case you need to hide more than just yourself)
8. Vice President & Executive Universal Translator
Vice President: “We need to a adopt a more transparent, cloud-based implementation strategy and adjust our technology paradigms to meet the shifting needs of our organically growing customer segments. “
Translation: “Me and the rest of the VPs heard a bunch of buzz words at the latest tech conference. We have no idea what they mean, but we were hoping you guys could figure it out.”
9. Personal Robotic Assistant
This one is virtually a no-brainer. A robot that never tires and is available at a moments notice to help with those last minute rush operations that come down the pipe-line. Now why did I choose V-I-N-C-E-N-T from the Black Hole instead of the more ubiquitous and well known R2D2? Simple. Vincent has lasers…
10. Luxury Supercar
Ok, I will admit there is little value add here from a project manager perspective. Then again, if I do opt for the James Bond Aston Martin with all its bells and whistles, I am sure there would be one or two gadgets in that vehicle that would be beneficial to a project manager. Plus, it will make date night all the easier. And believe me, as a project manager and self-described ‘nerd’, I need all the help I can get.
Have a GREAT holiday season everyone! See you in 2015….