Project Management Lessons Learned in the Kitchen

I came across the article “Project Management Lessons Learned in the Kitchen” and found it very interesting after reading it.

The article is intriguing in a way that it relates a good cook to a good project manager.  It talks about areas that both a PM and a Cook need to focus on in order to get their task done correctly and lists them in steps.

  • A cook needs to read the recipe all the way through and a good PM also needs to make sure they understand the requirements and guidelines so they know what the expected final product should be like.
  •  A cook needs to do things in certain order similar to a PM.  You can’t do everything all at once and some things have to happen before others.
  • A cook has to watch the clock to make sure nothing is over or under cooked.  A PM also has to make sure they watch the clock and ensure the work is done in the time promised.
  • Both have to make sure to not over commit.  Over committing for a cook can cause them to include too many ingredients which end up costing too much.  Over committing for a PM could end up hurting the end product as you might have committed to doing too much work in too little time.
  • Filling in the gaps is an important part of both roles as well.  A cook will start stirring or preparing another item while one dish is in the oven or on the stove.  A good PM needs to do the same thing.  It is important that the time is used wisely and assigned to getting the things that you were putting off done.

The reason I found this article to be interesting is that I would have never thought of those two tasks to be so similar.  Often at my work I find people not using the above steps in their process.  Sometimes our PM’s don’t read all the requirements or guidelines from the clients only to find out very close to the end that the end result is not what the client was exactly looking for.  PM’s will also lose track of the clock or days in the project world as they get busy with other work not realizing they are too close to the deadline with more work than anticipated remaining.  Overcommitting is often a common problem in our industry as you have multiple companies and salesman that bid for the same job.  Often our salesmen overcommit to what we can provide only to result in the company not making the expected margin on the project or having an unsatisfied client.

This is an interesting article for all those in the project management world to read as everyone can easily relate a project to cooking and once people realize that just like cooking has to be done in steps, so does a project!

Article – Project Management Lessons Learned in the Kitchen