Thursday, October 5, 2023

The Premier League, VAR, and Project Execution

One of the most popular football (soccer) leagues in the world is the English Premier League.  For the last four years, they have been using instant replay to try and reverse officiating mistakes.  

A match this weekend shows that, despite technology, there is still a risk from human error.  Specifically imprecise communication.

In this match, between Liverpool and Tottenham, a player for Liverpool scored a goal, but the referee discounted it for being offside.  The VAR (video assistant referee) chose to review it, and the video showed that the goal was good.

The VAR then told the match referee, "Check complete. That's fine. Perfect."  

The problem is that the match referee though that he was saying the call was perfect, but the VAR meant the goal.  As soon as the match referee announced that it was confirmed offside, the VAR realized the mistake, but play had resumed and it was too late to change the call.

The problem was the imprecision of the communication.  Unfortunately, I've seen imprecise communications cause many project delays, and result in poor strategy implementation.

© 2023 Praveen Puri