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Recently a colleague shared over a group meeting his experience as part of the choir taking part in the World Youth Day. AC explained us how motivation and a common objective made possible that a group of talented individuals became a high performance team able to sing at professional level in the National Auditorium in Madrid in record time. Here you can see the result:  

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ixAHB2ddC4I.

After that inspiring speech, I started to think on the similarities between sailing and project management to find that they are significant as I am discovering recently as a new sailing student. Read:

  • You can never get into the sea without proper preparation: Wind force and direction and weather forecast are key factors to start your sailing. Streams in the area are also to be known and considered when setting your course.  Ship condition needs to be reassured at the beginning of each journey.
  • When sailing you need to pay constant attention to all aspects simultaneously: wind, waves, other boats around and distance from the shore need to be tracked for a successful navigation. Failing to do so is the shortest path to getting your boat and crew in trouble.
  • As conditions change continuously even if slightly, corrections are required during the whole route to stay on course.
  • Depending on the structure, a boat can react very aggressively when moving the helm, so any modifications need to be properly measured to avoid the boat gets shipwrecked.
  • At the same time, to make things more interesting, sometimes the effect of your corrections is not inmediate and hence, the boat will delay its reaction.
  • When circumstances get complicated, sometimes the appropiate reaction is not the more intuitive and then is when a good captain has to show its knowledge and leadership staying calm and acting as required not as expected.

When planning this post, I considered developing in parallel the comparison with the project management environment but I thought each person would find interesting to develop its own analogy for each bullet. What’s yours?

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