Do you know that lessons learnt from a Chess game can be applied in Project Management? Yes, you heard it right. Let us see how we can apply Chess techniques in Project Management Process groups i.e. initiation, planning, execution, monitoring & controlling and closure.
Every chess player should have a clear understanding about his own game and also he should be able to read his opposition’s mind. He should be able to predict every move of his opponent, if not he is out of the game. When it comes to Project Management, to successfully execute a project, you should be able to clearly understand your stakeholder’s requirement. To move forward, you should clearly determine their requirements and what they are expecting from you.
Well, Chess is the game where you trap your opponent with your ingenuity. This can be done only with proper planning. In Chess, you plan with the pieces (like Pawn, Bishop, Knight, Rook, Queen) you have whereas in Project Management you do that with the Project Team and Stakeholders. In chess, a player of good caliber can predict his and his opponents 10 moves in advance. In the same way, a project manager has list of project activities, milestones and deliverables. In chess, a game is divided into Opening Game, Middle Game and End Game and game plan is done accordingly. Similarly in Project Management, planning is done according to the different phases involved in the Project.
Plan, put into action, is execution. In Chess, one executes their plan by moving their pieces and occupying key areas on the board. Every piece is supported by another piece and hence a strategy is laid to capture opponent’s pieces.
In the same way in Project Management, a project manager will use his resources effectively for the completion of the project. He would first divide the task among the team and guide them accordingly. He would be assessing the risks and then instruct his team. Mobilizing the team and guiding them to the right track, is the essence to project success. This stage is all about articulating and communicating the plans clearly.
Monitoring and Controlling:
In Chess, every step that you play will make a difference and that should be carefully done by looking at your opponent’s moves. If there is any danger is imminent from the opponent’s pieces, then it should be controlled. Similarly in Project Management, work is monitored at regular intervals of time and most importantly risks are controlled/ mitigated.
You win when you checkmate your opposition. Grand masters will always note their moves throughout the game. After every game they spend time in analyzing– what went right and what went wrong. This helps them in improving their game.
Similarly in Project Management, after the Project is signed-off by the Customer. Closure Meeting will be organized with all the stakeholders and lessons learnt are drafted.
In this way we can use chess techniques in project management. Please share your thoughts on this.