Project Management

10 PM Lessons Learned Coaching Children on the Playing Field

Following 20 years at a large Canadian telecommunications firm, Bruce established the project management consulting firm Solutions Management Inc (SMI). Since 1999, he has provided contract project/program management services, been a source for project management support personnel and created/delivered courses to over 7,000 participants in Canada, the United States and England.

When my children were young, they both wanted to play soccer (as we call it here in the United States…it’s known as football to most of the world!). I immediately recognized the benefits of being a coach versus a parent on the sidelines. Being a coach created significant extra time to be with my kids and their friends.

Sure, rushing home for dinner and racing to a soccer pitch four nights a week was a bit stressful, but we all really enjoyed the time together. Rather than just dropping them off and hearing stories after the game or practice, we talked about what we did together—usually over an ice cream cone or cold drink.

The fun expanded when my boutique project management corporation became a team sponsor for many years. The players (and likely their parents) had no idea what my company did. My corporate brand recognition was not quite up to the marketing standards of the Golden Arches or even the local ice cream shop. Still, it was fun for me when they would do a little cheer that involved my company’s name.

Because of the age difference of my son and daughter, I coached and sponsored teams for around 15 years. I was doing full-time project management consulting for most of those years, so whether the players knew it or not, they were being managed like a project for the three- to four-month season. We built plans, tried to execute them (…

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