July 10, 2003
Dakota Indian tribal wisdom on project management
The tribal wisdoms of the Dakota Indians, passed on from generation to generation, says that 'when you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount'. However, in many companies as well as in the UN and NGO community a range of far more advanced strategies are often employed, such as:
  1. Changing riders
  2. Appointing a committee to study the horse
  3. Arranging to visit other countries to see how others ride dead horses
  4. Lowering the standards so that dead horses can be included
  5. Reclassifying the dead horse as 'living impaired'.
  6. Hiring outside contractors to ride the dead horse
  7. Harnessing several dead horses together to increase the speed
  8. Providing additional funding and/or training to increase the dead horse's performance
  9. Doing a productivity study to see if lighter riders would improve the dead horse's performance
  10. Declaring that as the dead horse does not have to be fed, it is less costly, carries lower overhead, and therefore contributes substantially more to the mission of the organisation than do some other horses
  11. Rewriting the expected performance requirements for all horses...
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Comments

You forgot about job retraining for the horse. Even though the horse is no longer able to fulfill its current role, there may be other things that it could do.

And what about tax breaks for the horse? Do you realize how hard it is to make a living when you're dead? Especially in this economy. We need to provide some assistance!

Marketing may also help. Perhaps the horse would do better if more people were aware of the features and benefits of a dead horse.

Posted by: Adam Kalsey on July 10, 2003 08:51 PM

Nice quote! Do you have a source for it?

Posted by: David Gammel on July 11, 2003 02:13 PM

Unfortunately I don't have any source - I just got it in an email from a friend.

If it can be attributed to someone; do write a comment and proper linkage shall take place ;-)

Posted by: Anders on July 11, 2003 02:36 PM

Will do. I like the google ads for real and model horses on this page. :)

Posted by: David Gammel on July 11, 2003 03:27 PM

Cute, but many projects large organizations have to evaluate are slightly harder to evaluate than a (dead) horse.

:-)

- ask

Posted by: Ask Bjoern Hansen on July 19, 2003 12:28 PM

While that is true, you would surprised how much effort people will expend in avoiding the fact that it is a complex, dead, horse. Along those lines, I wrote about how to get off a dead horse a while back.

Posted by: David Gammel on July 26, 2003 02:51 PM

Hi Anders,

this is taken from Tom Peter's - Pursue the Wow!...

http://weblog.cemper.com/a/2003/07/22_dakota_indian_tribal_wisdom_on_project_management.php

btw: why not include a direct dump of all trackbacks like the comments are already on this page?

Posted by: Christoph C. Cemper on July 28, 2003 10:47 PM

Thanks for helping us find the source of that one, Christoph! The power of the Internet reveals itself once again... :-)

PS! Trackbacks are listed for all entries, but the list is only updated when I regenerate the page(s) or when someone enters a comment...

Posted by: Anders on July 28, 2003 11:19 PM

gey i'm 1/16 dakota and like i go to every pow-wow i can and i work at them along with dancing. i wish to hear up dates on evru thing that goes on and i'm doin a report on the dakota indians and i was woundering if ya could help me out. well gotta go at school resheacing.
always,
autumn

Posted by: Autumn Sterry on October 1, 2003 08:47 PM

To find out more visit The University of Minnesota (M Fall 2001) Web site. There is an interesting article written by Rick Moore. "In the Spirit of Collaboration: The University and American Indians Seek Common Ground"

Posted by: Joel on August 16, 2004 04:14 PM

While that is true, you would surprised how much effort people will expend in avoiding the fact that it is a complex, dead, horse. Along those lines, I wrote about how to get off a dead horse a while back.

Posted by: John Digweed on June 29, 2005 01:51 AM

What do they do in Autumn?

Posted by: Savnn-h on September 26, 2005 11:30 PM
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