Project management lessons from sidewalk art

I’m constantly amazed when I run across Julian Beever’s 3D sidewalk art. He is probably the best known of the sidewalk artists out there and even has a TV  series titled Concrete Canvas. I accidentally came across a couple of them over the weekend while working very late one night.

Below are photos taken during and after Julian’s 3-day creation of Big Ben on a London sidewalk, , , all done with chalk, a good sidewalk location, , , and lots of imagination and creativity.

Julian at work leaning on his flat chair to draw so he doesn’t damage any of his previous work

The piece is coming along, , , one face of the clock is finished

The finished drawing with Julian hanging perilously on the edge of Big Ben

It took Julian 3 days to complete Big Ben and it’s gone as soon as a good rain comes. His take on the issue is “As long as I have the photo, we are good.”

The project management lessons

What can you learn as an IT manager? The 30-minute TV program actually gives you quite a bit to learn from, , , if you are looking for it. Here is what I picked up on with Julian’s project:

1.  Prepares for the project and develops a plan – He checks the weather, insures he has permission to draw on the sidewalk, creates a mock-up on paper, checks all of his equipment and materials and determines exactly what he has to accomplish each day to complete the project in 3 days. In other words, he puts a plan together just like you should with any project.

2.  Anticipates problems – When it rains, he can’t work so he carries a tarp and masking tape to cover his work so it won’t be destroyed by rain drops. Remember, he uses chalk.

3.  Checks and rechecks the status of the project – By using a camera, he looks through the lens to determine if he is getting the 3D effect he is looking for every step of the way. He is also aware of where he is and how much time remains to complete his drawing, , , good time management.

4.  Knows where the bottlenecks are – Julian knows exactly what he has to do and he knows where the parts of the drawing are that will take more time. He also knows where he can take a shortcut if necessary to gain some time.

5.  Uses tools – Julian uses a special folding stool with flat seat and lays on it as he draws. It allows him to hover over his masterpiece without damaging his work. It improves his productivity and saves his knees, , , but most importantly makes the work easier for him to do. He began using this tool to address several issues he faced when working on sidewalk art projects.

So, the question is, “Do you have tools you need to help you and your staff complete your projects more productively and effectively?”

Find more sidewalk art posted in ITLever by doing a search on “sidewalk”.

One response to “Project management lessons from sidewalk art

  1. Pingback: Fly with the eagle | ITLever™

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