“Linsanity” – you can’t watch TV or pick up a paper without hearing about how Jeremy Lin is lighting it up with the New York Knicks. It’s a great story: A non-scholarship player at Harvard – not a basketball powerhouse by any stretch – undrafted out of college that is cut by two teams before landing at the Knicks. The rest is history – Lin is a starter and a global sensation.
It’s this last piece that AE firms can learn from. The traditional way of scouting players didn’t work. The top collegiate basketball programs missed the signs, and so did Lin’s first two pro teams. Coaches that had taken the time to look at and get to know Lin could have seen his potential. But they didn’t and this is the same thing we see with project management.
AE firms manage projects one of two ways:
- However they’ve always done it with whatever format individual PMs are comfortable with
- Or, as a top-down business discipline that marries engineering with the business of the project
The parallel is that firms managing projects with an engineering-only perspective may or may not end up with overruns. Firms that instead measure project status and project profitability at the firm-wide level deliver both great engineering and profitable projects.
Which would you rather have?