Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Bowling Pro

I recently went to a bowling pro shop (one of these days I'm going to get a bowling ball and join a league...must be a sign of my age) - and had a great conversation with the bowling pro.  He explained to me the various types of bowling balls, materials they're made out of, the impact based on the material, sanding and internal weighting, the need to know the lanes I would bowl at to determine the oil pattern an upkeep, the various grips and the impact of those on the hooking, how I throw and how I should be throwing the bowling ball, etc......He had charts of how the balls hooked down lanes that included variations based on the lanes oil pattern.....WOW....BASICALLY:
  • tools sets (bowling balls)
  • how to setup the tools based on the environment (grips, weighting, sanding and lanes)
  • environment/culture (lanes, intended application, my goals)
  • skill level (what am I capable of using and applying)
  • application (how to throw the ball properly)
I realized pretty quickly that this person had more knowledge of his truly complex subject matter then I did on project management and more then most project managers I know.  He didn't evangelize one bowling ball, one grip or one ally/lanes over the other - he EXPLAINED the differences and the impact on the game....WOW.  He then went on to stress that over time I would change, my game would change and therefore my bowling ball should change and more likely - I would require more then one - as determined by the throw I wanted to make and the lane I was playing....This surly shows the skill set and work that needs to be done in the IT world, never mind project management.  My take aways:
  • understand the goals
  • understand the tools
  • understand the environments
  • understand the people
  • apply what makes the most sense for that point and time
If I could attain this person's level of skill in my area...I would be pretty impressive.

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