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Geocaching for Project Managers

Geocaching for Project Managers

By Ko Ito
May 8, 2024

Tired of the same old project management routine? Feeling like your skills could use a hidden boost? Look no further than the real-world thrill of geocaching! This isn’t your average hobby; Geocaching is a global treasure hunt game using GPS that started in 2000. There are 3 million active caches and 6 million players worldwide. To start, create an account on geocaching.com, and click on the map to find caches near you.

Each cache has five levels of difficulty, terrain, and size. Once you have decided on the cache you want to find, install the app on your smartphone, and start looking for it using information such as hints, past logs, images, and attributes. Be careful not to arouse suspicion from muggles (ordinary people who don’t know about Geocaching).

Once you find the cache, write the date and GC name on the log sheet inside and return it to its original location. Please be sure to post your logs online as well. If it’s not found, write a DNF (Did Not Find) log. This is important because it lets cash owners and other players know about the status of the cache.

But who sets up and maintains these caches? In fact, the best part of this game is that you can not only find the cache, but also hide it. Players who have found 20 or more caches can hide them by following the steps below.

    • Create a container by deciding where and how to hide it.
    • Download and print the log sheet from the internet.
  • Think of the cache name, description, and hint, enter the necessary information such as coordinates, difficulty level, terrain, size, etc. on the site below and submit an approval request to the reviewer. https://www.geocaching.com/play/hide

If there are no issues, the cache will be published within a few days. You will receive an email when someone finds your cache and posts a log.
In addition to the traditional cache explained above, there are other types of caches.

  • Multi cache: Finding final coordinates by following several coordinates.
  • Mystery cache: You can solve various quizzes to find final coordinates.
  • Earth cache: You need to answer geological questions by observing special landforms at coordinate locations.

If you repeatedly hide and find caches with Geocaching, you will realize that it is similar to the value delivery cycle where BAs define problems and PMs solve it. Problem setting and problem solving are the two pillars of value delivery. If either one is missing, it will not be a good solution.
Gerald Weinberg expresses this as follows:

  • What is not worth doing is not worth doing well.
  • Without effectiveness, efficiency is meaningless.

If the BA’s problem definition is bad, no matter how efficiently the PM follows QCD to implements it, you won’t get good results.
Peter Drucker defined the roles of CEOs and middle managers as follows:

  • Leadership is doing the right things. Management is doing things right.

If BA chooses the right problem and PM implements it correctly, the expected value will be realized.
In the 17th century, French judge Pierre de Fermat left a following theorem without proof:

  • For any natural number n greater than 2, there is no set of natural numbers (x, y, z) such that xn + yn = zn.

This theorem puzzled many geniuses for 330 years until Andrew Wiles proved it in 1995. The value delivery cycle continues to revolve by defining good problems. The driving force behind this is human curiosity and the desire to explore the unknown.

In today’s mature society, it would be difficult to find good problems. You can relive the fun of problem setting and problem solving through Geocaching. You’re sure to discover wonderful places you haven’t seen before, or a different side of your familiar city.

I’ve begun to play Geocaching in 2020 and had hidden 351 caches and found 10,441 caches as of today. I would be really happy if you could start playing Geocaching by reading this article and sending a message to Azuchan.

Ko Ito

Freelance Trainer, Translator and Course Developer
Consultant and Trainer, International Institute for Learning

Ko’s experience spans over 15 years, and he has provided various online and offline trainings in Project Management, Business Analysis, Leadership, and Agile, after working with several American IT companies including DEC, HP, and Intel.

Ko also has courses in several schools including the National Institute of Technology, Keio University, and Ishikawa IT Center Business School. Additionally, he has worked as a trainer at Botswana Public Service College in Africa.

Ko earned a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and MBA from Waseda University in Tokyo. He finished his Doctoral Program at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, Graduate School of Innovation Management. He is the first Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP®) in Japan.

Visit Ko’s social media links to learn more.
Facebook: facebook.com/ko.ito2
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/ko-ito-japan
Twitter: twitter.com/ko_ito

Ko Ito, Trainer, Author, IIL

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Disclaimer: The ideas, views, and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of International Institute for Learning or any entities they represent

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