An Italian saying defines the end game in chess:”And once the game is over, the king and the pawn go back in the same box.” While this adage is true in chess, it is not so true in life.
I am and have been an avid wargamer since high school. In the days when wargames were played on paper boards with cardboard counters. When Dungeons and Dragons first came out and it was sold in a zip-lock baggie – with no miniatures. You bought those later as money allowed, but you could play without them. I have helped design and playtest both non-computer and computer wargames. Even some games that I don’t consider “war” games.
So what does this have to do with project management? Gamesmanship is always important. And you don’t always win; even if you have a good plan, good resources and good execution. Recovery after defeat is important. Play testing your “wargame” (project plan) is important, but some people forget to game the losing branch…there is always a losing branch—and sometimes you are on it.
For those of you who have not read it, I would suggest reading Wargaming for Leaders by Mark Herman, Mark Frost, and Robert Kurz. I promise it is well worth the time.