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09/28/2011

Experts: A Non-Technology Tool

IStock_000000548970_web I often times talk about project tools in the context of technology tools, such as project management software.  However, there are many tools that we can use that are not technical in nature (for example, see my last post on "The Detective's Notebook").  Another tool that we can and should utilize is an expert.

Elizabeth Harrin writes a blog called "A Girl's Guide to Project Management".  I just read her recent post on "Use your experts", in which Elizabeth suggests that we should use the experts that are around us.

It can be tempting, especially if you are "experienced", to believe that you are the expert on everything and simply have a knack for knowing everything.  I find that this generally happens before some humiliating event that proves that I am most certainly not the expert I thought that I was.  You know, "pride comes before a fall." 

The best project managers, and I would even say the best leaders, are not the most knowledgeable experts.  But they are really good at knowing they do not know something, not assuming they have all the answers, finding the right expert who does have the right answers, asking the right questions, placing the right people around them, and making sure they have the right information at all times to make good decisions.  They have a "knack" for getting things done, which really means that they can find out what the current situation is, and gather the right information to determine what needs to be done and how.

So...what experts are around you that you can utilize?  If there are no experts around you, first look again because more likely than not they are there and you just don't realize it.  Then expand on that to find and develop a connection with experts that you need to supplement your own expertise.

If you don't need any experts, good luck and watch out!





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Mark, I hadn't thought of experts as a tool before, and I didn't use that word in my article, but that's exactly what they are. Just as people are sometimes reluctant to share knowledge because doing so means sharing power, so some people try to answer everything themselves.

Personally, I subscribe to Peter Taylor's Lazy way of thinking: why work with all these talented people if you don't use their expertise?

Thanks for referring to my blog; I'm glad the article was interesting!

Elizabeth, thank you for commenting and you're welcome, I enjoy your blog. I believe the best organizations are the ones that have the best people and use them well. Perhaps making sure our team is utilized well is one of the most important jobs of a Project Manager.

Its like you read my mind! You seem to know so much about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you can do with a few pics to drive the message home a little bit, but instead of that, this is great blog. An excellent read. I will certainly be back.

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