Yogi Berra on Projects

Yogi Berra, a baseball great, passed away, yesterday. He was famous not just for his baseball career but he also had a unique way with words. In thinking of many of the things he said, you might think he had our industry in mind. As a tribute to him and just for a little fun, here are a few:

“When you come to a fork in the road, take it.”
We’ve all been on projects where no-one in charge is willing or capable of making a decision. Sometimes, just making a decision regardless what it is is one step toward progress.

“I really didn’t say everything I said.”
On those projects where people don’t seem to remember what facts they told you, decisions they made, and other things they’ve said, keep notes and keep your e-mail.

“We’re lost, but we’re making good time.”
Projects with no focus or goals spin out of control at a fast rate. People manically work toward some unattainable goal because there isn’t one to work toward. They work hard and fast, burning themselves out, and for nothing.

“90% of the game is half mental.”
Pay attention to the statistics that come out in our industry. Whether or not some of them make sense, most of them are misleading and probably just plain wrong.

“It’s not too far, it just seems like it is.”
Good projects find ways to bridge the gap between the overwhelming amount of work to be done and to getting to the final goal. They know how to prioritize and to lead people forward using milestones that help judge the distance.

“You have to be careful if you don’t know where you’re going ’cause you might not get there.”
Without goals, how do you know you’ve succeeded?

“It ain’t over till it’s over.”
For those projects that never seem to end, where the management of the project isn’t clear, there are inappropriate milestones, and nothing ever seems to get finished – they might not ever actually finish but, if they do, it won’t be on some predetermined date.

Gloria Metrick
GeoMetrick Enterprises

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