Most bloggers won’t admit to how they often find inspiration for their posts in other blogs and tweets. Anywho, I found my inspiration for today’s post from this Tweet: “Why do so many professionals say they are project managing, when what they are doing is fire fighting? – Colin Bentley” from

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  1. It’s a vicious circle.

How can we move from firefighters to forest rangers?

While firefighters are very visible and have a high-risk, dangerous job, forest rangers are just as critical: they keep fires from starting in the first place. It’s not as glamorous as firefighting, but it causes less damage.

  1. Plan, plan, plan. Thinking ahead is the most important skill for forest rangers. They must know where the problem areas are in their projects and figure out a way to fix the problems beforehand.
  2. Listen. Ears open mouth closed is the best way to get information about a project’s sensitive areas.
  3. Learn from the past. Those project closing meetings and lessons learned documents should not gather dust in the archives.
  4. Invest a little time now to save a lot of grief later. Not skipping project planning processes may seem time-consuming (especially from the point of view of project stakeholders). Still, this time will be repaid often over in the emergencies that will be avoided.
  5. Ask for help when you need it. The problem with heroes is that they sometimes try to do it all on their own, which may worsen things. If you’ve got too much in your place, ask for help from your team, other project managers in your organization, or your project sponsor.

Firefighters may be glamorous, but forest rangers prevent fires

Which would you rather be? The firefighting project manager whois always running around and fixing emergencies, or the forest ranger project manager who keeps projects running smoothly?