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What does Project Management and Ballooning have in common?

A man in a hot air balloon realized that he was lost. He lowered the balloon and spotted a woman in a boat below. He shouted to her, “Excuse me, can you please help me? I promised a friend I would meet him an hour ago, but I don’t know where I am.”

The woman consulted her portable GPS and shouted back, “You’re in a hot air balloon approximately 25 feet above a ground elevation of 2,672 feet above sea level. You are 39 degrees, 4 minutes and 41.1 seconds latitude; and -77 degrees, 57 minutes and 39.5 seconds longitude.”

He rolled his eyes and said, “Oh, you must be a Project Manager.”

“Yes, I am,” replied the woman. “But, how did you know that?”

“Well,” answered the balloonist, “everything you told me is precisely correct, but I have no idea what to make of your information, and I’m still lost. Honestly, you haven’t been much help to me.”

The woman smiled and responded, “Ah, then you must be a Business Executive.”

“I am,” replied the balloonist. “But how did you know?”

“Well,” said the woman, “You don’t know where you are or where you’re going. You’ve risen to where you are due to a large quantity of hot air. You’ve made a promise that you have no idea how to keep, and now you expect ME to solve your problem. You’re in EXACTLY the same position you were in before we met, but somehow, now, it’s MY fault.”

Adapted by Forrest Long, PMP, IT Business Partner