A contractor doesn’t change a light bulb – they project manage it!
At the weekend a client called my mobile number as the VAT office had requested more details about their new VAT registration. HMRC were concerned with a description of what a project manager actually does – and it turns out, this is not as simple as you might think. The client and I started to list the requirements for a typical week and we both realised an answer – the length of a small paperback – would suffice, if only the answer box was big enough. Instead, I listed a few of the roles of a project manager as they would relate to changing a light bulb – and it’s no joke.
1. Who decided the room needed a light bulb?
2. Is light still required in that area?
3. Was the original light bulb providing enough light to start with?
4. Do we have a supplier for light bulb replacements?
5. Will a replacement light bulb be sufficient for health and safety?
6. How long will a new light bulb be expected to last?
7. Is there any new technology we can use to light the area, that may prove to be more efficient?
8. What type of bulb fixing do we use and the required wattage?
9. How much time have we lost whilst the broken light bulb has been out of action?
10. Is changing light bulbs part of our corporate strategy?
So next time somebody tells you a light bulb joke – spare a thought for the person at the top – they had to consider the whole matter in detail before light bulbs get changed.