Finding an Optimum - 'More Haste: Less Speed' | Summary and Q&A

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January 14, 2020
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Online PM Courses - Mike Clayton
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Finding an Optimum - 'More Haste: Less Speed'

TL;DR

Optimization is instinctual, but finding the optimum can be challenging. Lessons from Jevons and Breccia's paradoxes can help project managers make better decisions.

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Questions & Answers

Q: Who is William Stanley Jevons and what is Jevons paradox?

William Stanley Jevons was a 19th-century economist who observed that as machines became more efficient, their lower operating costs increased demand, leading to higher consumption. This paradox highlights the unintended consequences of efficiency improvements.

Q: What is Breccia's paradox?

Breccia's paradox, observed by Dietrich Bress, states that temporarily closing a major trunk route can lead to faster traffic movement. This occurs because people find alternative routes, and some may opt for alternative modes of transportation.

Q: How do Jevons and Breccia's paradoxes relate to project management?

These paradoxes emphasize the importance of considering alternative routes and evaluating all options when faced with a problem. Trying to simplify or introduce additional resources can have unintended consequences and slow down progress.

Q: What is the primary role of a project manager according to the video?

The primary role of a project manager is problem-solving. They should carefully consider all alternatives, evaluate their potential consequences, and make informed decisions.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Optimization is a natural instinct, but we often don't look in the right places to find the optimum.

  • Project managers face the challenge of finding the optimum in a complex and ever-changing environment.

  • Learning lessons and applying best practices is not enough; constant monitoring of the impact of changes is necessary.

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