I bet you didn’t know it, but Wile E. was a project manager.
A specific breed of project manager.
So what lessons can we learn from our friend Wile E.? What made him so special?
You may remember, he preferred to use fantastic (and usually absurd) contraptions and elaborate plans to pursue his quarry.
His primary supplier was Acme Corporation, from which he procured complicated and usually ludicrous devices in the constant pursuit of success.
Two things usually happened with these devices upon implementation:
- The devices fail in spectacular ways (Kablooie!)
- The devices work, but operator error results in failure (Splat!)
Why did our hero continuously end up smashed, blown up, or with a difference of opinion with gravity off a high ledge?
Like the time where Wile E. procured the Dehydrated Boulder, and then it became much larger than expected and crushed him?
Or the time he donned the Bat-Man outfit thinking it would make him fly, and it didn’t live up to his expectations?
Teach Us, Mr. Coyote
So what do I mean, he wasn’t a project manager, right?
No, not really. But he reminds me of many I know.
Wile E. Coyote relied on gadgets and tools, all of which either:
- Didn’t work
- Worked too well
- Didn’t fit his needs
- He didn’t know how to use
- Introduced unnecessary risks
So thank you Wile E. for being the Tim Allen for my own project management career. You’ve taught me:
- Simpler is better
- Do only what adds value
- An ounce of execution is worth a pound of whiz-bang software
- No single solution fits all needs
- Risk management is freak’n important