Tonight, I am breaking my blogging avoidance (hi! I lived through the 70.3!) by studying for my PMP (project management professional) and applying it to captaining a Ragnar team!
So, all you current or future PMPs out there, you can totally captain a Ragnar team. Ragnar Captains - you can totally pass a PMP Exam!
Let's begin. You will find PMP concepts in black, Ragnar concepts in orange.
Lesson 1: Mastering the PMBOK (How to Captain a Team)
A project is a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service or result. It has a beginning and an end. Captaining a team for one race!
A stakeholder is anyone or group actively involved in a project. Teammates, race officials, volunteers.
The PMBOK guide identifies best practices, etc. Hello, this is your Ragnar Race Bible.
The level of the project management effort should be proportional to the size/scope of the project. Don't spend 10k and 6 months of full time planning on your team. Also: don't spend $10 and put it together in a week.
Initiating and Planning are the most important phases. Don't show up to a race (executing!) without proper planning. Bad bad bad things happen when you do that.
Lesson 2: Develop Project Charter Process
A formal project charter documents:
1) Preliminary characteristics of the project (team name! race date! race location!)
2) Authorizes the project (confirms team registration)
3) Identifies the project manager (team captain)
Your project charter is your first email to the team. It's a high level email with the preliminary, high level points of your team and race expectations. This is your wall of truth (you MUST be ready to go at 2pm on Thursday - do NOT make Saturday afternoon plans.) Now is the time to tell your team you expect a 7 minute mile. It shouldn't be too long - if you have to scroll too long on your phone to read the email, make it shorter.
Lesson 3: Identify the Stakeholders Process
Now is the time to identify your stakeholders: teammates, your volunteers (if you're within 100 miles of the course), the race director, and anyone else involved - yes, this includes spouses (the good and bad kind).
Analyze each of your teammate's roles, interest, knowledge, expectation and influence.
Creative Person who has never done Ragnar, but has high expectations because they've been wanting to do Ragnar for years. They're bringing two other people to the team.
Role: Team designer! Make the shirts!
Expectation: Figure this out fast - good time? Fast time? Something else?
Influence: High - you have a fourth of the team riding in their sphere of influence
Classify your stakeholders by level of authority, concern, involvement, and ability to affect change, salience, need for immediate attention, etc. Trust me. I've made the mistake of not doing this and it was disastrous. 11 other people is a LOT of cat herding.
In the PMP world, you'd make a Stakeholder register and a stakeholder management strategy. In Ragnar world - make a google doc with everyone's info and take the time to talk to each of your teammates individually about the above.
Next up, we have the PLANNING Process Group!