PM History Lessons: D-Day

PMI Southern Nevada Chapter

Paul is an information technology professional, project manager, instructor and author with 28 years experience.

A turning point in World War II, the D-Day invasion, code name Operation Overlord, offers a number of critical lessons that today’s project leaders would do well to revisit now and again, from the fundamental importance of clearly defined objectives and thorough training, to overcoming the unexpected and fully utilizing your strengths.

Many historical events and milestones meet the definition of a project as a “temporary endeavor with a defined beginning and end that is undertaken to meet unique goals and objectives, which will typically bring about beneficial change or added value.” The goal of the ongoing PM History Lessons series is to provide practical knowledge applicable to today’s projects while exploring some history along the way.

World War II officially began with a declaration of war against Germany by Great Britain and France on September 3, 1939. Over the next two years Nazi Germany overran Poland, Denmark, Norway, the Low Countries, France, the Balkans, Greece, parts of North Africa and much of the USSR before being turned back at the gates of Moscow in December 1941. Over the next two years Allied forces steadily beat back German armies, first in North Africa, then Italy as well as the Soviet Union recapturing much of the territory lost in 1941. During that time the opening of a second front in the west was a top priority of Allied war …

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"All progress is based upon a universal innate desire on the part of every organism to live beyond its income."

- Samuel Butler