Reinvent Your Project Management Wheel

How many times were you told that it is not a good idea to reinvent the wheel? Social media drives change to this philosophy, and we must continue to reinvent the wheel to stay competitive in this new age. What type of wheel do you model your project management style after? Is this working for you, or is it time to reinvent your project management wheel?

Types of Wheels

Steering wheel – Controls direction of movement but does not contribute to the actual progression of movement. The steering wheel should be used with deliberate, strategic movement. Dry steering, the act of turning while stationary, should be avoided as it generally puts a strain on the steering mechanism and causes undue wear.

Hot wheel – A “tricked out” car and is only a functional version of the real thing. Its intended use is on a track going nowhere but around and around and around at a fast pace; sometimes flying off track, requiring a yellow flag while you get back on track.

Ferris wheel – Also known as an “Observation Wheel” or “Big Wheel”. The Ferris wheel is an impressive landmark that provides suitable entertainment for many. It’s a non-building structure – a system of connected parts used to support a load. The Ferris wheel is not designed for continuous occupancy; there is no forward motion, and it moves in a non-continuous circular movement with designated starts and stops.

Hamster wheel – Okay, maybe now I’m just having a little fun, but I think it’s worth including. The Hamster wheel allows rodents to run in confined space. The run can be so intense that it may result in foot lesions. But fear not, project manager: the lesions scab over quickly and do not prevent the hamster from continuing its run on the wheel.

Wire wheel – Employs the hub-and-spoke concept to provide a smooth rolling motion that reduces friction.

The hub-and-spoke wheel in project management has undergone changes through the years. Below is a list of hub-and-spoke concepts:

Organic – business units are inconsistent in size and may not be directly connected to others

Centralized – traditional organizational chart where business units funnel up to one group or individual

Central hub-and-spoke – multiple business units connect to a central hub through a series of connecting spokes

Multiple hub-and-spoke “Dandelion” – each business unit may have semi autonomy with an over arching tie back to a central group

Holistic Honeycomb – each individual in the organization is social enabled, yet in a consistent, organized pattern

Do you see your project management wheel listed above? Does your wheel roll smoothly reducing friction? If not, go ahead and reinvent the wheel.

After all, it’s not the wheel that is difficult to invent, it’s the wheel and axle concept that provides the greatest challenge…

Related Posts
Why Being a Change Agent Is Like Being a Swamp Thing
An Introduction to PMI’s Project Management Life Cycle
The Importance of Being Agile

Related Courses
Project Management Fundamentals
Agile Project Management
Leading Complex Projects

In this article

Join the Conversation