Translating Shakespeare and Legal Project Management

My recent article about translating Shakespeare might seem like it has nothing to do with Legal Project Management.

Not so.

After all, I’m doing something similar – translating the arcana of the the art and science of project management into the legal arena.

I hope (and evidence suggests) I’m doing a better job than “All murder is awful, but this one was even more awful,” someone’s translation of “Murder… most foul, strange, and unnatural.”

Great project management seems effortless to those who see it in practice, just as great Shakespearean acting should seem effortless and natural. But it takes a lot of rehearsal, practice, and trial-and-error to get to that point.

And, yes, translation.

In staging a Shakespeare play, the director1 will work to help the actors understand the meaning(s) of each line, each phrase, each moment. In a way, that’s my job regarding project management. Do you care about Pareto optimization, say, or minimax theory or crashing the schedule? Probably not, but the concepts behind them are important. I try as a teacher, seminar leader, and author to embed them into simple-to-grasp concepts you can apply easily to the legal projects you’re working on. I usually avoid the terminology and rarely note┬áthat there is terminology that describes what I’m teaching.2

Think of me as the guy who translates project management into plain-and-simple English for lawyers.

Hmm. How ’bout, “All bad project management is awful, but this project was even more awful”? Let’s work together, and you won’t have to say that anymore!

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  1. Often aided by a specialist, called a dramaturg.

  2. Okay, I’ve failed with “minimax.” I often use and explain the term in my sessions because the concept is so critical, and I think the example I use makes it memorable and “sticky.” But I haven’t stopped looking for a better alternative.