Using All Available Resources
In 1989, a United Airlines DC-10 lost its center engine as well as all of its hydraulics. In essence, the plane could no longer be controlled with normal inputs from the pilots. The crew ended up devising a strategy to use engine thrust to maintain flight. The flight somehow made it all the way to the Sioux City, Iowa airport where it crashed right at the runway. However, due to the amazing efforts of the crew, many lives were saved that day on the flight.
The crew used every resource they could to help achieve a successful outcome. There was an instructor pilot who happened to be flying as a passenger on the plane. The crew used this pilot as a fourth crew member to help manage the throttle settings. The crew utilized air traffic control to help them identify options. They utilized their maintenance department to help determine what the problem was. They utilized the flight attendants to prepare the plane. They used aircraft capabilities that perhaps were not intended for that function but were nevertheless an available resource.
The crew credited "crew resource management" training, which was proactive training to teach crew members to work together as a team and to use all available resources. In project management, we don't do enough of training on the team skills and soft skills side of things. But this is what really matters. We need to instill an attitude of utilizing all resources available to us to solve challenges. We do that by constantly training and emphasizing its importance. Give me a project manager and a team with great soft skills and team skills over a project manager that is well schooled in how to build a PMI work breakdown structure. I am not saying that is not important, but the soft skills and team environment is critical.
A resource could be a person, contractor, group, tool, service, lessons learned, mentor, team member, or a host of other things.
What are the resources available to you when faced with a challenge?
Happy project piloting...