The most down to earth course anyone can get in project management takes place right in the home kitchen.

Cooking a dinner entails understanding the finished product: what needs to be finalized and when it needs to be ready.

It also entails considering the users: anyone with a vegan or Kosher diet? Portions properly sized?

There are resource constraints, from time to available labor, as well as capital. You probably only have 4 burners on your range and one stove. Likely, too, limited counter space? And what about the factor inputs? If you have four chicken breasts to serve to four guests you don’t have room for error.

The final product might actually be comprised of different products that must be available at different stages. And each of those products is comprised of sequential stages. You can’t cook the rice two hours before dinner, and you can’t wait until T-5 minutes, either. The steaks need 10 minutes to cook, but a few minutes to sit before serving.

Try throwing multiple cooks in the kitchen! Now you’re managing a project.