Six Lessons That Project Managers Can Learn From a Watchmaker

Let’s cut to the chase straight up, and take a look at what tricks a project manager can pick up from a watchmaker to make sure that their project runs like clockwork.


Traditionally, watchmakers built watches from scratch apart from assisting with repairs. However, they deal with repairs for the most part today, unless they are making watches for niche consumers. Even so, watchmakers are aware of all the design aspects that go into watchmaking, just how a project manager needs to be aware of setting up project processes from scratch.


As we mentioned before, the fabrication but of watches is handled by large-scale watchmaking industries today; however, watchmakers know how a watch is to be fabricated bottom up or inside out. Similarly a project manager should be well-informed about the different facets of project infrastructure from budgeting to human resources to be able to run the show.


It’s not without reason that the phrase “like clockwork” came into being. A project manager should be able to setup a project with optimal resource and support, as and when needed, so it continues in a smooth hassle-free manner. Just how a watchmaker may have to replace a battery to restore smooth operation, a project manager will have to fuel the project with support, motivation and incentives to drive it forward.

Different watch setups

A watchmaker is well-aware of construction of different watch makes. This makes it easier for them to diagnose problems and make fixes, fabricate or source spare parts if needed. Similarly, a project manager should be able to differentiate between the requirements of multiple projects in a project portfolio, so they know who is a right fit for which project.


When you take your watch to the watchmaker when it stops working, they carefully evaluate the problem after opening the back of the watch to investigate. They are able to pinpoint what the problem is, if it’s a worn out mechanical part or run-out battery that is causing it. Without this the watch cannot be restored to its “like clockwork” mechanism. Similarly, a project manager should be able to pinpoint what exactly is not working in a project equation to make fixes, else they will not be able to achieve the desired targets.

Stay updated about the watchmaking industry

A watchmaker stays abreast about the advances in watchmaking, take the introduction of digital watches for instance. Aside from knowing how the tiny gears work in analog watches they also know about the setup and working of digital watches with digital displays and microchips. A project manager needs to stay informed about the latest developments and techniques in project management, so they can apply it in driving day-to-day targets.

2017-07-04T11:25:32+00:0014.3.2016|Tags: , |
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