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As I have reflected on that final interception, I am reminded of projects that I have worked on over the years where team members just wanted to hold on to the work – where they were unwilling to toss the ball to someone else. It can be hard to let go of the control. But that’s what the football game is about.

It’s about a team of people – who work for years learning how and when to pass, throw, kick, and run the ball. Knowing your team and understanding everyone’s strengths and weaknesses helps us understand when it’s appropriate to pass off to another on the team.

Trusting others to be straight with us and to be there when we need them can be hard.

Putting aside the anger of the moment, and forgiving others who have failed to live up to our expectations is essential if teams are going to move forward and improve effectiveness. It will be easier to forgive ourselves when we make the wrong call if we take responsibility instead of pointing fingers of blame.

It’s the people part that challenges most projects. Software tools are just that. At best, they make it easy to track the knowledge and the decisions that form the basis of future work. At their worst, they get in the way, require too many unnecessary hours to implement, and delude us into thinking that we have accomplished real work.

Allow the space for your teams to practice working together. It is only through that process that teams will have a chance to win.

Stay tuned for Part 2 – Super Bowl 2015 Project management lessons.

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