Simply put, the toolkit approach should be what all managers and supervisors should adopt when taking the lead on projects. The assumption of some managers is that you can go strictly off of your own knowledge and experiences to guide new projects and just apply your own knowledge. The toolkit approach suggests that managers should seek advice of others on their team and within their organization to add to the knowledge and perspective of how to guide a project. In addition, the toolkit philosophy expresses that you can’t just rely on your previous experiences and knowledge from other projects and assume that that knowledge is enough and the best approach to deal with the new project. Even if the project is similar to what you have led and dealt with in the past, it doesn’t mean that the methodology you used previously will be the right approach this time around.
In summary, I wholeheartedly agree with the toolkit method and think it’s an approach that should be used in all project management. Don’t assume old experiences will be fully applicable to new projects and always be willing to listen and obtain knowledge from other sources on your team.
I think that the kids toolkit approach to management is an approach that all IT managers should adopt. They need to be open, flexible, and willing to hear ideas from all staff including and maybe especially junior staff. Information technology is a rapidly changing field, stagnation will easily leave a company in the dust and belly up. By being flexible and open to new approaches to ideas, a company is able to stay fresh and competitive with the latest technologies that could ultimately alter the way that business is done within their company. Continuing to approach problems in information technology with the same methodical approach every single time is not always the correct approach for unique problems. Continuing to follow the same approach may in fact create new problems in information technology Solving problems within the information technology field need to be unique to the situation at hand. The kids line about not using a hammer when you need a wrench is a perfect analogy for many current IT companies that use the hammer because they are following the same strategy that has worked for them in the past. It is able to get the job done, but it involves more labor, more hurt fingers along the way, and more damaged products because the correct tool was not used. In the end it ends up getting the job done if you’re lucky, but it leaves a lot of room for efficiency to be improved. This is a great analogy for problems in information technology as well.