Movie B-School: Dumb and Dumber Project Management Tips

3 minute read

For some of us, managing a project is simple, and for others, it’s a foggy mess. I personally get pretty excited when I need to plan something, or even more so when I get to match it to a calendar with tactical items and to-do lists (I’m a dork). On the other hand, I know some very smart and talented people whose brains just can’t make sense of that bigger-picture/while super detail-oriented project planning, and find projects difficult to manage. We’re all wired differently, that’s for sure.

1994’s Dumb and Dumber is a movie that makes you feel like the smartest person alive. These lovable doofs have no idea about, well, anything at all. Being that they’re a little lacking in the IQ department, these gentlemen are not what you would call planners (although they do claim to have a travel budget). Their foibles can tell us a lot about how to properly plan for events and projects. Below, we have some dumb project management tips from Lloyd and Harry.

Movie B-School: Dumb and Dumber Project Management Tips I North by Northwest Boise

Dumb tip: Pay attention to the map

Lloyd and Harry, in their quest to find Mary Samsonsite, travel across the country to her home in Aspen, Colorado. In a mid-western stretch, dim-witted Lloyd ends up accidentally turning them around and heads back toward home for many miles as Harry slept. When taking on a big project (or trip) the most important step in building its future success is to map it out and know where you’re heading. Create a plan for your project, and get very familiar with it. Know it end-to-end, and be sure it’s fully mapped. This one step is key to keeping a project on track and heading toward your goal, not away from it.

Movie B-School: Dumb and Dumber Project Management Tips I North by Northwest Boise

Dumb tip: Know what you’re looking for

Dumb and Dumber head to Aspen with zero information, except the name Mary. They “deduce” her last name is Samsonite, because that’s the name on her left-behind suitcase (duh). When they reach their destination, they don’t know what to do or how to find her. Creating an airtight goal for your plan is 100% crucial. You must have a goal, so you know what you are looking for with your plan, and what you should be measuring. Your goal should be well-defined and quantifiable. The “SMART” tool is an excellent way to write your goals when you’re not sure where to start.

SMART suggests you write a goal that is:

Specific

Measurable

Attainable

Realistic

Time-Restricted

This will give you a finely-tuned goal to attach to your project, so you know exactly what you’re looking for as you complete it.

Movie B-School: Dumb and Dumber Project Management Tips I North by Northwest Boise

Dumb tip: Figure out the essentials

Lloyd and Harry make this trip without clothes, a place to stay, or enough money. They are definitely winging it, and if they hadn’t **Spoiler** found all the money in the suitcase, the two would have been spending cold Aspen nights on the street. Deciding and planning for the essential needs of your project is another preparedness tool that will ease your transition down your project path. Having the proper tools and personnel lined up and ready to go ensures a smooth finish.

Movie B-School: Dumb and Dumber Project Management Tips I North by Northwest Boise

Dumb tip: Keep your attitude in check

These guys are best friends, and likely soul mates, living together…they’re bound to get in squabbles. Harry and Lloyd get into it a few times in the movie, most memorably over Mary’s affections. While trying to complete a project, it’s necessary that everyone involved has a good attitude for maximum productivity. Making team effort and happy ‘tudes a priority will get you where you want to go. Also, never put laxatives in someone’s drink before a date. That’s seriously cruel.

Movie B-School: Dumb and Dumber Project Management Tips I North by Northwest Boise

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About the Author

Stephanie Norell is the Marketing Director for North by Northwest’s Boise office. She loves horror movies and Pinterest, adores the classic film Xanadu, and “enjoys” disseminating her thoughts for trolls to discuss online.

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