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INSIGHTS

Chess and Project Management (Part 3)

While my two previous blog posts focused on the similarities between playing chess and managing a project, it’s also important to note a big difference. Those pieces on the chess board aren’t human, but your team members are…. In chess, the knight moves in an “L-type manner, e.g., ‘up one square and over two’. When you choose to move it, it doesn’t ask why, it doesn’t suggest alternatives, nor does it provide reasons as to why it can’t or shouldn’t (even though I’m sure a talking knight would have saved my skin in one of my most recent games).
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Chess and Project Management (Part 2)

This is the second blog post pertaining to my observations related to Project Management, and similarities with the game of chess. Blog 1 discussed the concept of experience and some lessons I’ve learned over the years through post-project analysis. This post will cover the importance of knowing your team and putting them in positions for growth as well as advancement of the project…. “My problem with chess was that all my pieces wanted to end the game as soon as possible.” - Dave Barry
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Chess and Project Management (Part 1)

I found a box of old chess books that I hadn’t touched in 15 years.  After flipping thru some dog-eared pages of classic games, I realized I missed playing and decided to get back into it.  I started by downloading a chess “tactics” application on my phone to use during my train ride to and from the office.  Chess tactics are move sequences in which your opponent is not able to respond to all threats – thereby giving you the advantage.  These move sequences reinforce core chess fundamentals such as “discovered attack”, “pins”, “skewers” and “forks” to name just a few.  The tactics app starts by presenting a board position and asks for the next “best move.”  The better you are at recognizing and applying core fundamentals, the more successful you will be in determining the next best move.  In chess, (and most anything these days) there are helpful guidelines to start you off on the right foot.  For example, “play to control the center of the board”, “don’t sacrifice without a clear and adequate reason”, “develop your knights and bishops first & don’t bring your queen out too early” are just a few to keep in mind. 
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