Wednesday, January 9, 2008

More on the Fiddler (not Moron, the Fiddler)

You've seen some reference to Fiddler on the Project, the book I'm co-authoring with Ranjit Biswas, PMP. We have a goal to have 100 contributors. We're up towards 70. So don't miss your chance to collaborate. Just visit . If you do nothing else, at least take our quick survey, which you can get to directly from that site.
Here is the prologue from the book. A little tease...

Fiddler on the Project - Prologue

What are projects? Projects are all about change. If you didn’t want change, why would you be initiating a project? While operations are focused on the status quo, projects strive to improve our lot, gaining us more customers, or coming up with the means to delight our existing ones. Projects are initiated to do business more efficiently, to meet some kind of government or contracted requirement, or to venture into some new line of business altogether. In any case, we initiate these projects because we need something to be significantly different than it has been. If we don’t make the change, we may end up in a dangerous situation.

Yet, ironically while a project’s focus is change, the people who work on our projects and the organizations they’re from, as well as the customers and other stakeholders of the project- including the project manager themselves – are rooted in traditions. These traditions have served us well, sometimes for many generations. Lose sight of these traditions and the project manager – and the project itself – is not in tune with its environment, won’t likely satisfy the organization, the sponsor, the customer, and therefore will not bring about the change that was desired, and we may end up in a dangerous situation.

So, the project manager, the leader of these projects, has one foot on tradition and one foot on change. All along, he or she must balance between tradition and change while actively orchestrating the elements of the project, smoothly conducting, if you will, the ‘music’ of the project while not losing their foothold on either, and – you guessed it, ending up in a dangerous situation.
Such is the Fiddler from Fiddler on the Roof. He balances on the peak of the roof, perched atop the house, effortlessly keeping his balance with one foot on either side of the peak while producing beautiful, enchanting music – a melody that is an inspiration for the story's main character, Tevya. The fiddler never fails – and he never falls.

We want to help you – as the Fiddler on your projects – to be able to keep your balance and play that tune, and to inspire the stakeholders of your projects. And, you know, we wouldn’t complain if you got a little inspired, yourself!

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