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  • Writer's pictureJamie Leeper

What the NFL can teach us about Project Management

Updated: May 6, 2019

It's hard to believe that it's already been 24 days since the celebrations that signaled the beginning of the new year. Many diets are already a distant memory, new year's resolutions have been and gone, and many parts of the country are currently in what is typically the coldest time of year. However, there is some good news, and that is that the Super Bowl is just around the corner! This magnificent event grows in popularity each year, but what can this event teach us about project management?

Football and project management have a lot in common

Aim high

The Super Bowl is one of the most anticipated and popular events in world sports. Millions of viewers from all over the globe tune in each February expecting a spectacle, regardless of what actually happens on the field. The event organizers have month's to prepare for this event, which last a mere 4 hours.

As a project manager you are faced with a start and end date, and hopefully clearly defined goals of what the end product will look like. Take pride in this challenge and strive to deliver only the highest quality deliverables that are a true representation of your talents.

Have a plan B

And it wouldn't hurt to have a plan C in place as well because you know all too well how these things can go! We have seen it several times in the past with wardrobe malfunctions, technical problems, and inclement weather conditions that have threatened to prevent the Super Bowl going to plan. However, careful planning, risk mitigation, and having contingency plans in place mean that the objectives have always been met, even if the process wasn't as smooth as people had desired.

Focus on quality

The halftime show, along with the many incredible commercials, is what draws so many viewers into this event. If shortcuts were taken and C-list celebrities were selected for the halftime show, many people wouldn't tune in. However, if you insist on only the highest quality performers you can be guaranteed that you will draw in the required viewers that warrant companies destroying their annual marketing budgets with a 15 second commercial. It's the same for project managers, who are tasked with budget management but at the same time must make sure that the objectives of the project are met. This is sometimes a very challenging line to walk and it isn't made any easier by time requirements.

Both football players and project managers can celebrate their accomplishments

Learn from your experience

The good thing for you is that your performance will not be critiqued around the world on social media. Your audience is likely to be a little more forgiving, but you can be sure that they will be more than happy to share their opinions with you. Listen to their perspective, ask clarifying questions, and most importantly use the information you receive to make your next project even more successful than this one.

Good luck to both of this year's teams, and let's hope that everything runs without a hitch for the event organizers.

If you are looking for support with your project management needs, please Contact Us today.

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