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The Pie is STILL Baking

Friday, September 16, 2011 by Robby Slaughter

Robby Slaughter

After working on countless projects, it’s easy to spot patterns that have the potential to create challenges. One of my favorite has to do with our nearly incurable desire to be nosy. We like to hover in the kitchen, sample the ingredients, peek in the oven and taste before serving. Ask any cook: this is not helpful.

That’s why I like to tell people that executing complex projects is a little like making a pie. We need to talk up front to decide your preferences and dietary requirements, but the work of prepping, chopping, folding and baking is best done by chefs, not by guests. You can watch and we can teach you how, but please be careful not to get in the way.

Here is a plain and simple truth about pie making and project management: Every time you open the oven to peek, you only delay the hour when dessert will be served ready. You’re more likely to burn yourself than learn anything new.

This is hard advice to take. Maybe you’ve never had this variety and you want a closer look. Maybe your tummy rumbles with hunger and you want to ensure that feeding time is fast approaching. Maybe the pie smells a little funny and you are doubting the chef. When customers place an order, it’s difficult to wait patiently. Yet, doing so is the most efficient method for getting the best possible dessert.

Furthermore, it’s important to remember that uncooked pie is not pie! Freshly rolled crust may be dripping with salmonella. Newly -basted crust does not yet possess its promised glaze and texture. Not-yet-pie does not taste like pie, so trying a piece only detracts from the final experience.

Good pie requires an expert chef, quality ingredients and time to focus. Keep this mantra in mind when clients and consultants are working together (or managers are expecting deliverables from members of their team.) The pie is STILL baking. Nagging about status, asking for early samples, wandering around in the kitchen or opening the oven can only endanger the process.

Let the chef work and allow the pie to cook. If the dish is a flop, there’s always another chance or another kitchen. The best desserts are worth trusting and waiting for.

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