Bruce D. Henderson ready

Lessons from Past Project Managers: Bruce D. Henderson

Picture of Claudio Gutierrez

Claudio Gutierrez

President & Founder — Valens Project Consulting


At Valens, we actively share our knowledge and lessons learned from the best project managers. The goal has always been to keep you informed on the best project management practices. With that in mind, we will discuss the lessons of Bruce D. Henderson—a legend in strategic planning and management whose ideas continue to resonate with project managers worldwide.


The Legacy of Bruce D. Henderson

Bruce Doolin Henderson (1915-1992) was an American businessman and management expert. In 1963, he founded the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). Now, BGC is a major global management consulting company—it even holds the ‘Big Three’ status alongside giants like McKinsey & Company and Bain & Company.


Henderson came up with some innovative concepts at BCG, but perhaps his most famous work is the BCG Growth-Share Matrix. This tool helps companies understand how their different business units perform and plan resources accordingly. It completely changed the way companies manage their portfolios.

Some of Bruce Henderson’s most influential work took place when he founded the Boston Consulting Group.

But Henderson’s legacy was more than just a business person with some fancy tools and frameworks. His strong belief in strategic planning and problem-solving offers many lessons for today’s project managers.


Insights for Project Managers from Bruce D. Henderson’s Legacy

Project managers have to make tough decisions all the time. On top of that, effective planning always presents its own set of challenges. Henderson’s insights can help managers in these tricky spots.


Embrace Change and Innovation

Henderson supported change and innovation. He reasoned that project managers should create a working environment where their teams can be creative and experiment with new ideas. This is how businesses can stay ahead of the curve and find meaningful solutions.


Think and Analyze

Henderson also put a focus on strategic analysis. He loved making decisions based on solid data and thorough analyses.

Today’s project managers should not just go with the flow but step back to really see the bigger picture. Understand the market, weigh your strengths and weaknesses, and identify opportunities and threats—this will make it easier to develop strategies that actually work.


Keep it Simple

Henderson considered simplicity to be the ultimate form of sophistication. He even had a talent for simplifying complex concepts.

To say that complexity is the norm in project management would be an understatement. But Henderson’s approach reminds us to keep things simple. This approach actually improves management efficiency and helps everyone stay on the same page.


Focus on Core Competencies

Henderson believed in playing to one’s strengths. For project managers, this means knowing what each team member is good at and using that to the project’s advantage. Aligning tasks with individual skills is a great way to optimize project performance.


Keep Learning and Adapting

Finally, Henderson’s career teaches us the importance of continuous learning and adapting. The business world changes all the time, so why should your project management strategies stay the same? Keeping up with industry trends, drawing lessons from past projects, and being flexible with your strategy are crucial to successful project management.


Final Thoughts


At Valens Project Consulting, we value the insights from past project management pioneers like Bruce D. Henderson. Our consultants use these teachings with modern methods to deliver successful project outcomes. So, if you want to improve your project management with proven techniques, contact us today!


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