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July 14, 2014 by bruce 5 Comments Looking to learn project management skills and don’t know where to start? For those readers who are confused, I’m referring to Montgomery Scott, the ingenious Chief Engineer of the Starship Enterprise.
In Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Relics,” Scotty makes an appearance after being stranded in a transporter for decades. Building up your reputation as a miracle worker is one of the project management skills that hardly anyone talks about. In building your arsenal of project management skills, never forget the importance of creativity.
When stranded on a planet in “The Galileo Seven,” Scott is struggling to repair a damaged shuttle craft. In “Relics,” Scott and La Forge are working together to restore a damaged spaceship to full operation.
By showing that he wrote key engineering specifications, Scotty demonstrates his engineering authority. What discussion of project management skills would be complete without a full discussion of communication? In the cult classic episode, “The Trouble with Tribbles,” Scotty engages in one of his favourite pursuits (and I don’t mean enjoying Scotch!). In the tradition of “The 4-Hork Workweek” by Tim Ferriss, I will end with a question and action for you to consider.
Action: Find one idea from your favourite fiction – novel, short story, TV series, or movie – and implement it.
These are all good questions and I answer them in my guidebook, "How To Start A Project Management Career". This book will help you build a personalized roadmap for finding your first Project Manager position, accelerating your transition into the PM profession.
Even though his technical knowledge is somewhat out of date, Scotty still knows the importance of managing expectations – especially the Captain’s expectations.
In order for quality assurance to run their tests, you need to know when software development will complete a testable version of the application.
With very limited resources and none of the repair facilities available on a starship, they simply must find a way to launch the shuttle. Whether you’re an employee or a project management consultant, writing about your expertise demonstrates your project management skills.

The ship has been out of commission for decades; the two engineers have few options available to them. Once that point is revealed, La Forge rapidly becomes more willing to heed Scott’s suggestions.
Spock: …that requires an overwhelming display of emotion in a situation such as this? There are some excellent blogs at PMI – that’s where I came across lessons from World Cup coaches, even though I don’t usually follow sports. This 110-page PDF guidebook includes clear, practical action steps that you can take to get moving right away. There is a lot of hiring happening in around the world for project management roles, especially in Asia. Ia€™ve spent 15+ years time in project management and business analysis, delivering core banking and insurance systems within an end-user environment and as a consultant. Scotty is shocked when Geordi La Forge (chief engineer of Star Trek: The Next Generation) appears to have a very different understanding of expectations. It is much easier to over deliver on your projects when you manage expectations like Scotty. In the end, the crew implements a solution that involves draining the power from their phaser weapons. Only creative thinking and the authority that comes from writing about your profession salvages the situation. It’s the same reason that most patients tend to follow the directions of physicians: they have authority based on their professional expertise.
In “That Which Survives,” Scott successfully completes a dangerous project and saves the day. Two men pursue the only reasonable course of action, and yet you FEEL that something else is necessary. At first, you may simply have a vague intuition about one or two vague deadlines being missed on the project. In fact, several of the senior officers suspect that the Captain to be unwell and unfit for command. You can phone the project sponsor directly and express your concern about the project’s problems. When you read the tactic, you’ll probably nod and think to yourself, “Oh sure, I know about that.” It is a timeless principle of project management success (or professional success).

I have a habit of jotting down things every 30 minutes so I can go back in time and review the task to determine if it does really matter anything at all. Whether you’re a long time Star Trek fan like me or not, this guide will deliver the goods on project management skills.
It’s also important to observe that Scott still makes key contributions despite his dated technical skills.
If any member of your project team works at a remote location, I recommend writing a short handwritten thank you note and mailing it to them. Keep reading to learn how Montgomery Scott considered a planning a mutiny on the Enterprise.
Yet, very people put in the effort to implement Scotty’s tactic to establish and maintain his credibility.
I also recommend reading classic project management books such as Making Things Happen: Mastering Project Management by Scott Berkun. I provide you with the exact names of head hunter firms who help you land a job in key growth markets like Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing. But I do know there’s much to learn about fundamental project management skills from Scotty. You don’t need to be the master of every technical skill in order to be a successful project manager. Don’t become overwhelmed – call on the logic of your inner Mr Spock to consider a wider range of alternatives. If you have a lot to say, you can write a Kindle book (with the right marketing choices, Kindle publishing can be lucrative too). Read on to learn about Scotty’s proven tactic to sustain his credibility abroad the Enterprise.
These radical “mutiny” options are powerful weapons only to be used in the case of a major project calamity.
It’s fascinating to me how you can take in ideas and stories for a long time and then suddenly, inspiration strikes!
That’s the power of following Scott’s time tested principle for staying at the top of his field.

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