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OverQualified

Maximum efficiency is all well and good, when a task is mind-numbingly predictable. But in the real world, if you're trying to do something important --- which by definition means that the job and the environment are unpredictable --- then it's vital to have overqualified people on a project. They're the ones who will bring creativity to bear, and thus save the ship, when a sudden crisis hits the fan. They're also the ones who will have mental "engineering reserves" available in ordinary circumstances, so that they can keep up with all the usual work and still have headroom to think about improvements to the system.

Yeah, they're obnoxious, disrespectful, and tough to manage. They look like lazy bums most of the time. You've gotta pay them too much. Your boss will complain.

But the more critical a mission is, the more grossly-overqualified a crew you'd better assemble, if you want to succeed.

(see also OneDeep (15 Nov 1999), ProjectManagementProverbs (2 Jun 2002), ... )


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(correlates: TruckNumber, SmallIdeas, 1 Comment on UK Runner's World, ...)