We don’t want to be the guy on the right slide here, right? The thing is that engineers have too many parameters and they struggle to communicate those parameters to decision-makers.
What we want to be is like Dr. Scotty from Star Trek on the left-hand side of the picture there. Where when he was in a crisis he gives clear succinct replies to the captain about what could and couldn’t be done and how long it would take.
And he was a man on top of his game. And so, it is around taking all those parameters and boiling them down, and being able to give clear and succinct replies.
As I am thinking about this, I’ve been thinking, what would be a good way to communicate the need for investment?
And I ended up thinking about sports. And we’re going to look at the few examples here of sports. And what these graphs are, are the score over time in a game.
Lessons from the Rugby World Cup
And so the New Zealand All Blacks, which is our Rugby football team were in the World Cup in 2015 in the UK. They ended up winning it, which was pretty good if you’re a New Zealander.
In the quarter-final against France – and France is a pretty good team. They’re been New Zealand’s hoodoo or-boogie team in this competition over the years.
They were the finalist in the previous world cup in 2011 with New Zealand and they have been a team that can beat New Zealand quite consistently when they try.
And in this particular game, the result was 60 to 13. It was described as a master class in World Rugby.
And the All Blacks started scoring very early in the game and they kept on scoring.
France got through to about 30-35 minutes, about 40 percent of the way through the game, and didn’t score again.
In reality, by about minute 25 the game was in effectively over in terms of who’s going to win it. There’s no way France is going to come back. The All Blacks opened the taps.
And you can see from the line on the graph that the consistent scoring over time for the All Blacks team. The French team didn’t manage to consistently score over time and the result was by the end of the game, a fairly large gap in the scoring – historically large for that phase of the competition.
And the All Blacks won, which a lot of New Zealanders are very happy about. Not sure that a lot of French are very happy about it but anyway, consistent scoring won the game.
Lessons from the Super Bowl 50
Let’s look at the Super Bowl 50, 2016 which was a bit earlier in 2016, Broncos versus the Panthers.
At the Deighton conference, there were some people from a State DOT in Broncos territory and they said right, we’re going to use this as an example back home.
But the reality in that game is this across the four quarters, the Broncos were ahead by 10 points or so, at the first quarter, the Panthers hadn’t scored, they just stayed ahead of the whole game. Every time the Panthers moved up, the Broncos scored again.
There’s a bit of a see-saw there. By the end of the game 24-10, Broncos as the history records were the ones who won the Super Bowl – and so again consistent scoring through the game brought it home for the Broncos.
Lessons from the National Basketball Association
Back in June when I was preparing this, the NBA Final Series had started and Game 1 and it was Warriors–Cavaliers. And again, looking at that, Warriors-104, Cavaliers managed 89.
And Warriors just stayed ahead right the way through the game. Every time the Cavaliers looked like they were catching up, the Warriors would put the foot down and just got the scoreboard ticking over.
And again, consistent scoring wins the game.
So in sports, and the team we’re backing isn’t scoring, we’ll be yelling at the TV and yelling at the scoreboard, come on you guys, just do the basics right, just get that ticking over.
Consistent scoring wins the game
But we know, by the end of the game, the team that consistently scores right through the “infrastructure asset management” game will be the team that wins.
And the team that doesn’t consistently score through the game is going to lose. We know that.
Nobody has to explain that. We all played sports or watched sports or participated or screamed at our TVs for our favorite team and so we know that.
And when our team is dropping off and not scoring, we know that they are in trouble.
FEATURED IMAGE CREDIT: Steve Jurvetson via Flickr Creative Commons License. The image has been cropped to fit website requirement.