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We have been doing 360-degree assessments at work. When asked to describe a colleague, I chose to draw a blank. I’m not good at matching shapes to people.
You may be aware that my Master’s degree in Children’s Literature is also known to some of you. After I thought about what I could answer to the 360 survey question, I realized that there are many great characters in children’s books.
One of my favorite movies is The House at Pooh Corner. I also saw that the Hundred Acre Wood where Pooh goes on his adventures is a microcosmof the world of project stakeholders.
It’s Winnie-the-Pooh Day, January 18th. Did you know? We live not far from the Ashdown Forest, and I have played pooh sticks at the’real’ bridge. It was easy to connect the dots.
Each of the characters in A. Each character in A. Milne’s stories have a role to fill on the team. It made me wonder: What characters would I be working with if I was in the Hundred Acre Wood?
Photo credit: Eric Ritchley, FlickrProject stakeholders in Hundred Acre Wood
Here’s what I came to. Which one of these do your team members have?
Winnie-the Pooh: The enthusiastic member of the team. Although not a leader, she is loyal. Needs direction.
Rabbit: The most busy member of your project team. You don’t see much output. Rabbits aren’t very successful, but they like to believe that they are very important.
Eeyore: The harbinger for doom for the project team. A plodder. Will do the job, but is hesitant to change. If motivated in the right way, another loyal follower.
Tigger: Creative and inspiring, enthusiastic. When everyone feels demotivated, he or she will rally the team. It is difficult to get Tiggers to put their energy into something useful.
Owl: Often, in a role as project sponsor. Wise. Although authoritative, they are not always right. They are most at their best when given guidance and recommendations that allow them to make the next steps.
Christopher Robin: The project manager. Calm, level-headed. Christopher Robins are there to help people in trouble and are always willing or able to help.
These are the faces of your project team. Do you recognize them? Would you describe your team members like characters in children’s books?
Which character are you?
This short quiz will help you match your project management style with Winnie-the Pooh and his friends.