Top Project Management Lessons to Learn from Superheroes
By Kavita JhaveriOct 11, 2019
Super Heroes; Project Management you’d think – what’s the connection? Now that we’ve raised the topic, let’s consider what the term project management means, breaking the term into the two individual words.
A project is mainly a short term task that is undertaken either individually or collectively to accomplish a particular goal. Management, as the word suggests, is manning the resources required, timing the usage of these resources and allocating the resources as per pre-decided norms within the peripheries.
So surely superheroes, even if considered a fantasy, do set out to capture or achieve a certain motive. Even if the task may seem unprecedented, dangerous, extravagant; nonetheless, when we look at it closely, it is all about project management!
Project Managers are similarly known to carry a lot of responsibility on their shoulders, as they need to get things done quickly, simplistically and within the set limitations. At the same time, they are expected to address the challenges, risks, and obstacles and sail through the project to completion.
So let’s have a look at some superheroes/heroines who displayed exceptional project management skills:
1. Wonder Woman
Win The Game With Compassion
This wondrous super heroine is portrayed as a powerful, strong-willed character who does not back out from a fight or a challenge. Yet she is compassionate and conscientious with an overwhelming belief in love.
If she had to choose between killing the infiltrator and giving them another chance, she would rather keep them alive and transform them for the better.
The most talked-about weapon of Diana Prince is Lasso of Truth who believes only in speaking the truth even if the odds are against you and also preaches others to do the same. Even while her powers were taken away for a while, she did not give up and continued to live a normal life.
She was great in team bonding and strived to learn more about each member and valued them which raised the bar of trust with them. She did not want to hog the limelight and was willing to give her human accompanies their due.
Follow these team productivity tips entrenched by the Wonder Woman; see your team performance; amity grow by leaps and bounds.
Conquer Your Fears
The fact is depicted with Bruce Wayne, Batman’s alter ego, who was able to conquer his childhood fear of bats despite the powerful Ra’s al Ghul chiding him.
He not only uproots it to such drastic measures that he sports it as a symbol of his own identity to fight crime. This gesture speaks volumes about his character.
Whether as a manager or a leader, it is not uncommon to hold up a facade of bravery; fearlessness, even as within you harbour your own fears, right deep down. But along the path of success, it is discovered that fear is neither conducive to growth, nor does it support diversification.
So the only solution is to spread wings and let go! Make it a point to do one thing that you are most terrified of, One Project At A Time!
Don’t Turn A Blind Eye To Your Moral Compass
In this practical world, where everything revolves around revenue earnings & profit making, there are chances that moral obligations can take a backseat and not form priority of work.
Unless you are like Superman’s Clark Kent whose alter ego emerges at the right moment to nudge you to walk the path of what is right & just.
Humanity should be the core religion, everything else can follow later. It should also be borne in mind that projects can conclude but your teammates are likely to remain the same. A leader who comes across as morally oblivious are destined to bury their image worthy of respect and doom is spelt out the moment they side the wrong.
For example, if as a project manager you spot a bug in the project management software which can catapult itself into a virus, but higher authorities force you to remain silent on the issue.
Would you still speak up on ethical grounds or let the minor bug escalate and meet its own destiny?
Take Responsibility For Your Actions – Period
As has been the case, team leaders are entrusted with the task of charting the graph of growth stories of their entitled projects. They also need to look into the growth trajectory of their fellow team members. Keeping this in mind, Spider Man’s Uncle Ben quote “With great power comes great responsibility” is nothing less than the gospel of truth.
When the project manager undertakes responsibility it is equal to his or her own ownership as each step involves an intricate level of detailing.
The project manager needs to ensure that there is parity between ‘fun at work’ along with ‘seriousness and dedication’ at work.
Rather than let an ensuing problem propel into a mountainous situation and then depend on team’s competencies at the last minute keep prior checks in hand.
This will enable the project manager to keep a check on progress made at each stage and render required support; guidance whenever necessary rather than doing so only at the project analysis stage. Such an approach shall definitely make a tangible difference in the ultimate quality of the project delivered and in the process improve relations in the client management stream.
5. Iron Man
Keep A Contingency Plan Handy
Tony Stark was once admonished by Captain America for “always [having] a way out” but if you think of it, it’s actually quite practical and useful to think outside the box and prepare to encounter unforeseen circumstances. Situations are bound to change any moment and a winning scenario may need to be re-engineered at any given time.
Tony personifies this mantra innumerable times, for example when he calls in the Iron Legion for assistance in battle, or builds a quick-enter/exit function into his armour suits, and when he takes control of his suit remotely while saving dozens of lives aboard Air Force One.
There’s nothing wrong with having a Plan B…and C, D, and E, in fact, it is quite essential. Whenever as a project manager confronted with a problem, consider and weigh out options beyond the traditional and what meets the immediate eye.
Such proactive measures may not only come handy in the future but also ease out any such unwarranted tension mounting up in the present to be better equipped. This is also where any use of task management software assists in scheduling and embedding tasks for unforeseen circumstances come in handy.
These inspirational heroes overcome their challenges, conquer their fears, walk the path of truth, keep outside welfare above anything else and are always alert to face the unexpected.
So as a project manager, it is your duty and responsibility to manage the overall project right to its tiniest detail and see it through success such that sets a benchmark for others to overtake and get inspired from.
Even if these come across as fictional heroes, we can take bits and pieces from their stories to consume into our real life.
After all, Real Life can sometimes be not much different than a fairy tale! Tap into the genius in you and power-up the project just like a superhero!