Project Management

Projectball: PM Lessons from America's Game (Part 1)

PMI United Kingdom Chapter

Ian Whittingham, PMP is director of Calixo Consulting, providing project and program management expertise from initiation through to implementation, covering business transformation, workflow process re-engineering, and enterprise data integration. He is a regular contributor to ProjectManagement.com. You may contact Ian directly at [email protected]

Back then, it wasn’t called Big Data. If it had a name it was the more recognizably mundane statistics. Or if you really wanted to advertize your smarts, statistical analysis. But 10 years ago, a non-fiction bestseller introduced the concept of big data without even using those words and showed how it could be used to challenge conventional wisdom, disrupt the status quo and to find advantage and opportunity where none was apparent.

Although Michael Lewis’s Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game is ostensibly a story about how Billy Beane--the general manager of the Oakland A’s--created a winning baseball team with the lowest budget in the Major Leagues, in telling Beane’s story Lewis also offers up a lesson in constrained problem solving by thinking “outside the box” (in the story, by literally thinking outside the box score).

In fact, Lewis tells his tale so well that you can read Moneyball without knowing anything about baseball or having any real interest in the game and still take away useful insights that can be applied to any project. And if you don’t have the time (or the inclination) to read Moneyball, I’m going to share some of those insights with you now.

Fortune cookie wisdom or logic?

“If you challenge the conventional wisdom, you will find ways to do things much better than they are …


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"Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats."

- Howard Aiken

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