Posted by: kerrywills | June 21, 2013

Be the sweeper

Every four years when the Winter Olympics comes up I am reminded of the sport of curling. In this sport one person pushes a ‘stone’ down a sheet of ice and the other players use brooms to sweep in front of the stone to guide it into a bulls-eye. I was thinking the other day that this is a good metaphor for projects and the role of the project manager (don’t ask me why since it is the start of summer). Essentially we have our team doing the work (pushing the stones) and our job as PMs is to clear the path in front and make sure that they are guiding the right direction (the sweeper).


Guide your team

Being the sweeper could mean several things…

  • Looking ahead on the plan to make sure that critical resources or deliverables are available when needed
  • Making sure that decisions get made in a timely manner
  • Clearing the path of obstacles (issues and risks)
  • Understanding what the team needs to be successful and enabling it

In some cases sweeping may mean coaching and encouraging and in some cases you will have to get our your broom and do some heavy sweeping. So get your brooms cleaned off and get ready to help your teams!

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