Many people know that Phil Jackson coached 9 teams to NBA titles and Bill Walsh was a football genius with many Superbowl wins.
Do you ever hear about Project Managers who take multiple million-dollar projects to the finish line and bring home the victory? Of course not, but they are critical in setting the tone of a project, defining clear objectives, and pushing all the right buttons to get a Project Team on the same page to accomplish their project goals.
People alone, with all of their various personalities, are tough to manage. Project Managers are responsible for setting project task dependencies, trying to stay within project budgets, and work to keep a pulse on all the project resources. Man, that is a lot of responsibility!
In sports, coaches use video tape, advanced scouts, and many other tools to accomplish their goals. In the project world, we use tools like MS Project or a good time tracking/project management tool such as Standard Time® software. Standard Time automatically e-mails Project Managers if a timesheet is insufficient and will warn a project team if a project is over budget. It allows you to visually manage your resource allocation. It is a very effective tool.
The bottom line is that championships are not only won by pushing the right buttons. The foundation for winning starts with having the right tools. Are you still using antiquated spreadsheets and verbal discussions to win your championship? If so, you may be setting yourself up for failure.