Project Management Thoughts

Olympics, Preparations and a Few Extra Eggs

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you may have heard about this event kicking off today called the Olympics. I love the Olympics – especially the Winter Games (I’m a Minnesota kid, after all). I’m always in awe of the feats that these athletes achieve – and all of the work, hours, sweat, tears, sacrifices – everything – that each of them put in to get to that level.

As a project manager, I always look at an end goal and automatically go into deconstruct mode in thinking through how to achieve that mark. My mind immediately begins to determine all of the things that need to get done, how much time each of those things may take, what order they should take, etc. I know, I’m a little strange – but my weirdness helps pay the bills, right?

For longer endeavors, like becoming an Olympic athlete, there is also the sustained visibility on the end goal that’s needed to make sure to stay on track and motivated – like the picture of the Olympic rings one Canadian skier still keeps on the ceiling above his bed.

There are the unplanned events and risks that can derail a program pretty quickly – like the American pairs skater that experienced severe stomach issues that kept her off the ice for nearly a year.

And there is the complete commitment to achieving the end goal. All of these athletes demonstrate this daily – including the American moguls skier who moved into a pop-up trailer on a mountain (a little chilly there btw) to submerse himself in his training – before even being on the radar of the team.

At the end of following the plan, overcoming issues and bringing it all together, you may succeed brilliantly, completely crash or, for most, land somewhere in between. But rarely, do we ever hear that all of the work, time, everything was not worth it.

I have a client that is going live on a solution on Monday. We, along with three other solution providers, have been working with them for over a year to get them to this point. There has been a LOT of hard work from everyone. There have been stressors and laughter, issues and adjustments, and there has been a sustained focus and commitment, from everyone, to bring this solution to fruition. And we all are ready.

There will likely be a few hiccups in the beginning. It happens. Just ask the Norwegian Olympic team that inadvertently received 15,000 eggs. But you roll with it (right?), adjust and keep moving forward. All of us on the team believe that this solution is going to make a huge difference in this company being able to achieve their goals – now and in the future. That makes all of it, the ups, the downs, the effort – all of it – worth it.

I hated every minute of training, but I said, “Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.”
—Muhammad Ali

Best of luck to all of our Olympic athletes – and to my client. May there be plenty of gold in the end for you both!



Anne Hale is the Director of Client Services at HL Group, Inc., a premier provider of mobile asset inventory management and warehouse solutions. She manages our client engagements, works with Wes on sales and marketing and will be glued to the Olympics broadcasts for the next few weeks.