“What would you have to do differently to accomplish ten projects in the same time that you now run five projects? No overtime,” I challenged.
“One thing is for sure, I can’t keep it all in my head,” Roger mused. “You know, some projects, you can manage with sticky notes. When you gave me my third and fourth project, I had to start making lists. When you gave me my fifth project, I realized my lists had similarities and I created a template with all the possible elements. Given another project, I can start with my template rather than creating a list from scratch.”
“But if I give you ten simultaneous projects, what would you have to do differently?” I repeated.
Roger shook his head. “I can’t manage ten projects at the same time, even with my templates,” he concluded. “Something would always be falling through the cracks. I would need some help.”
I nodded in agreement. “Roger, we didn’t start working with you because you could manage a project, or two projects. To manage ten projects, you will need some help, you will need a team. The reason we want to assign you ten simultaneous projects is not so you can build a better template (though that is helpful), but so that you will build a team. This is a dramatic shift from being a supervisor, to becoming a manager. It’s a higher level of work.”