My current LIMS project has been using the phrase “chain of command” quite a bit and I’d been trying to work out a new analogy to go along with it.
My First Attempt
The Project Manager is like the General, giving us the overall guidance and orders. The Business Analysts are like the Lieutenants, enacting the General’s orders by gathering requirements and preparing the rest of the project. The Developers are like the Drill Sargeant, whipping the system into shape for battle. Developers (Drill Sargeants) shouldn’t expect the General to come and hand them their equipment or detailed information.
The point behind the “chain of command” phrase is that each of us has our role. If one role is a point of contact for some task, people in other roles shouldn’t try to take over that work to the point that anyone might think the point of contact is different from what it is.
This Analogy Needs a Lot of Work
I’ll tell you that I know this analogy needs a lot of work. I’ve just started it. Beyond the fact that it falls down in that a project team isn’t like a military chain-of-command in that the Project Manager usually has no real authority and that no-one actual outranks anyone else on the project team, it still doesn’t read well to me. Hey, I’m working on it, though, and just wanted to put it out there in case any else already has a better one developed. If you do, please share it as a comment so that everyone can see what it is.