Archive for the ‘Metaphysical Project Management’ Category

Checkmate

It was approaching 09:00. Breakfast had been a gulp. I was far too excited to see how my plan for the strategic restart of the project would turn out. My excitement overcame all the unknown variables which included; client continues the suspension regardless of the facts, client becomes entrenched in the blame game, client reacts negatively and formally closes the project.  The project restart plan was going to work, in spite of the formal project suspension letter. This time was different, we had clear leadership. Our project saboteurs knew that, and were obviously afraid.

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Strategic Bunker

My strategic bunker

If a ruler pays attention to false information, all his officials will be liars.
Proverbs 29:12 – Scripture.

It takes considerable effort to verify and validate the existence of project deceit. Painfully though, it carries on being ignored because of  that very same word, “pain”. The costs of not confronting or trying to avoid this pain, is cataclysmic.

Lives connected to projects running on deceit have been destroyed. The project itself runs into millions of pounds in wastage. Yes, I scare “professionals” intent on continuing to fuel deceit on a project because I am qualified to do it. If I do nothing, then I am no better that those in senior positions turning a blind eye to it. From the bottom upwards we all know that it goes on, yet many in senior management just do not want to see it the board are always the last to know when things go wrong.

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Surfing the project storm

Surfing on a project storm

My driver took me back to the Sheraton, rather than directly to the office. I spent the rest of the afternoon looking at my brain map in the makeshift strategic bunker section of my suite – then changed my clothes and took a slow walk into the city. I knew that there would be calls in London to fire me, and that did not worry me. What worried me was had I done enough in so short a time for the offices (India, Zagreb and London) to trust me?

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Managing uncertainty

Managing uncertainty

Managing uncertainty on critically important projects is akin to that of being thrown into the proverbial Lions pit. You never know if the Lions will eat you or if God will come to your rescue. It still happens to this day. It can be shocking, surprising, and very painful!

Like my biblical namesake who believed he had earned the trust of King Nebuchadnezzar – whose dream he had successfully interpreted with God’s help. I too believed I had gained the client’s trust when I jump-started the GSM Telecommunications Portal project, where all others had failed.

It would be weeks later when I would come to realise how fragile trust can be – especially when manipulated.

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PwC Team India

PricewaterhouseCoopers Project Team - India

Inside organisations, trust is a significant and increasingly pervasive issue. I continue to experience this both in the UK and worldwide. Before arriving on this critical GSM portal project, I spent a great deal of time scenario planning for all the eventualities that could and did arise. One of those scenarios gave rise to the possibility of a project restart where Croatia would need to work with its Indian counterpart. The scenario came true, which led to my managing and working with; a small Indian team in Zagreb, the Zagreb team, and the remaining Indian team back in Chennai. What I did not realise straight away was that I would also be managing the London team – but while the teams trusted me, they had some difficulty in trusting each other!

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When my Croatian team and I delivered Eastern Europe’s largest GSM Telecommunications Portal in 45 days, it was not just a matter of controlling, directing and monitoring time, cost and schedules. We were forced to factor, develop and manage client uncertainty on a daily basis. We used ingenuity management to retrieve lost ‘deliverables’ which gave us the advantage over IBM, Siemens and Motorola. We engendered trust with our colleagues in the UK and as far away as India. We achieved delivery of an impossible project – the success upon which other projects, within the company portfolio, were rescued. This was not entirely text-book project management – it was also metaphysical.

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