The Three Blind Project Managers and the Elephant

By Rufran C Frago posted 07-26-2019 02:36 AM

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Oftentimes, the discussion on subject such as risk has a tendency to turn into something esoteric. When that happens, as a Risk Manager, we should appreciate the brilliance of some people’s individual premises, suppositions, commentaries, and conclusions, for they can add value and substance to what we already know. Pulling their takes together might just be what everyone needed to appreciate the whole.

There is an old tale about the three blind men who encountered an elephant for the first time and attempt to learn about it by touch alone. Well, now, let us change the story to the three blind project managers who encountered risk for the first time. Imagine their experiences as they attempted to learn about it.

The story about the three blind project managers is like the story of Jain’s parable of The Blind Men and the Elephant. The parable is quite relevant to what we are discussing here.

The understanding of each man is distinctive because each traces a different part of the elephant. This very old story teaches us something important about how we go about our business, how we run our projects. How we address the risks associated with them. We tend to see many situations differently from the next person. It is an excellent illustration of the relativity of risk.

The range of understanding runs a distance between true and false but never in absolute term. In effect, what each one of us experience might be a subjective truth and not the objective truth. This creates limitation to the accuracy of one’s decision.

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About the Author:

Rufran C. Frago is the Founder of PM Solution Pro, a Calgary consulting, product, and trainingservices firm focusing on project and business management solutions. He is passionate providing advice, mentorship, education and training through consultation, collaboration, and what he uniquely calls, student-led training.