Are You the One-Eyed Man in the Land of the Blind or The Blind Leading the Blind?

Have you ever asked yourself this question?  I have.  There were times I thought I was sure I knew what our team had to do and how to get there.  Then there were other times when we were making progress against our plan, but the project wasn’t progressing.   I’ve most often encountered this when business people overseeing the project become frustrated with the lack of tangible benefits.

The One-Eyed Man in the Land of the Blind

Working on projects, this is the best feeling in the world.  Once you get the taste of this feeling, you’re hooked on project work for life.  The mystical experience of talking with people prior to a release or implementation, knowing that you are going to provide capabilities that people cannot imagine.  

You talk to them, explain how they will know things they cannot find out today.  Then one day, there’s a demo where the abstract idea becomes a visible reality.  Something they couldn’t imagine becomes something they can’t live without.  

A couple months after the release and people are not able to imagine how they did their jobs before.  It’s almost as empowering as learning to read.  [Editor: and that wasn’t so long ago for you, was it?]

The Blind Leading the Blind

Then there is the other scenario, where one side is “showing” progress while teams are frantically trying to figure something out.  Sort of like a magician draws your attention to one spot, while the real work is going on somewhere else.  I’ve often thought learning magic tricks would be excellent training for Project Managers.  The trick of disappearing from certain meetings or being in two places at the same time.  Either one would make project life much better.

So for what you’re doing right now, are you the one-eyed man in the land of the blind or the blind leading the blind?


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