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Would James Bond Make a Good Project Manager?

James Bond gun barrel opening sequence.One of the classic James Bond films was on the TV last night and I couldn’t resist watching part of it. I am not sure of the name but it is the one where he is in a cable car and Jaws puts his teeth to good use.

Anyway, I was a bit tired and my mind started to wander a bit. I got to thinking about whether or not 007 would make a good project manager or not. I even came up with a few project related puns on titles of some of his films but in the cold light of day none of them are any good so let’s just see whether he has the right skills to do the job.

He Stays Cool Under Pressure

Wouldn’t you love to be as cool, calm and collected as Mr Bond? He could be desperately avoiding deadly laser beams, clambering along the roof of a train or hanging off a plane and he would still stay cool. He would be unlikely to get involved in situations like this as a project manager (unless he has a SPECTRE agent as a stakeholder, I guess) but it is still a great attribute to have. As everyone else panics around him he would stay calm, sip his martini and work out how to get the project back on track.

He Looks the Part

Any project manager who dresses well and looks intelligent is off to a head start. Bond’s bosses and stakeholders are likely to be impressed by his appearance even before he stands up at his first project meeting and says, “The name’s Bond, project manager James Bond”. It might not seem as important a part of the role as others but a project leader who dresses well and looks after their appearance will have more chance of getting stakeholders on their side right away. Of course, turning up to a project meeting with a bow tie on might be a bit over the top but it has got to be better than wearing ripped jeans and a Star Trek t-shirt to work.

He Is Well Spoken

I think that it is important for any project manager to be well spoken, and James is certainly that. I would say that the Sean Connery version of 007 was my favorite and his distinctive voice would certainly command attention in the meetings and workshops. Communication is a huge part of the role and the fact that Bond can explain his ideas and get on well with all sorts of different people would be a huge advantage.

He Isn’t Afraid of Technology

There isn’t usually a lot of need for project managers to use bug detectors, shoes with daggers in them or a wristwatch garrote. Even the Aston Martin with the tire slashing hubcaps would be a nice-to-have rather than a must-have on most projects. However, if all of these gadgets have shown us anything it is that James isn’t afraid of technology. This is good news, as he will come across a lot of things he has never used before. Now, if we get Q involved in the project as well that would be a good thing.

He Isn’t Much of a Team Player

One drawback I can find here is that he is a bit of loner and I can’t really imagine him working in a team for too long. Sure, he has some colleagues and glamorous assistants from time to time but most of them come a cropper and he always seem happy to work alone anyway. I think that Bond would need to learn how to work in a team and that this could be one of the biggest challenges for him.

He’s a Bit of a Loose Cannon

Another of the big drawbacks with the idea of 007 as a project manager is the fact that he is a bit of a loose cannon. It’s all very well heading off to the Caribbean and ignoring your bosses phone calls when you have a license to kill but it is a different matter altogether when you have a milestone to meet. His lax attitude to team keeping and his lack of respect for authority would go against him as well. All in all, he definitely has some of the basic skills needed for this role but he needs to polish up his act a little before I would trust him with one of my projects.

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