I was pondering about golf this morning and it struck me that it might be fun to write about the many similarities between a hybrid Project Manager/Business Analyst (PMP/BA) role vs a professional golf caddy.  This may seem a little bit (Okay, a lot) of a stretch at first but stick with me for a few minutes.
You don’t become a professional golf caddy by just saying, ‘Hey, I think I’ll go take care of so and so’s a bag at the Masters this year’.  A caddy, to reach that level has spent thousands of hours working on lesser tours for amateurs to get seasoned!  Much like a PMP/BA has spent thousands of hours as a practicing PM before she can even apply to take a certification exam.

What’s a day in the life of a caddy like?  They may spend the day watching their pro hit balls.  They would be assessing how far they hit each of the clubs.  What is the trajectory? Which way are they curving? Etc…etc. If this sounds a little like a Business Analyst assessing the current situation of a company, it’s because it is very similar.

They could be scouting the course ahead of a tournament for the best way to approach the game. How to play a certain golf hole? And if they miss hit the ball, where on the course is it likely to end up? Does this sound like risk analysis?

You may have noticed on TV or at a live tournament game, the caddy and player each read a little fold-over notepad.  This is known as “The Book”.  It contains pages for each golf hole with the distances to and from the putting area or green. Or the calculation of the distances to the bunkers or sand traps along with the shape and contours of the putting green.  Could this also be thought of as a work breakdown structure for each hole?

I’m going to continue considering this comparison.  Just keep in mind that the PMP/BA you work with is much like your caddy. They need to know your game and how to get you to the hole with the least number of shots.

So, if you’re going to play golf and you want to save a few shots hire a Pro Caddy.  If you want to save frustration, time, and dollars on your next software project, consider a PMP/BA!

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