Thursday, 28 September 2006

A project for colourful analogy

Tautology of analogy

Somehow, I have become a master of analogies when it comes to understanding and explaining topics, ideas, issues or circumstances in my profession.

The project I am currently involved in is another classic in the many projects I have embarked upon where the salient lesson ends up being how not to do projects.

Interestingly, NaijaBlog highlighted issues with poor project management in Nigeria, but I can say that it is no better in Europe.

What is amazing is that we have professional project managers with Prince 2, Princess 3, Queen 4, King 5 and Emperor 6 project management qualifications but not an iota of genius has materialised from such great learning.

All sold on a whim

The first analogy stemmed from the situation where the project managers through their boss announced to their corporate community that they would deliver a product for live deployment in 2 weeks – no problem with that – however, if the project managers have not consulted their core resources, of which I was one, about that possibility, they would have sold a luxury car without having first seen the prototype.

I have read my CV over and over again, I have not found the words miracle or worker anywhere on the CV, in fact, this blog contains the first instance of those two words in such close proximity when talking of myself.

Then, there is the other part where it appears this project which is an activity of centralising and consolidating the business and resources to one country, there are many all around the place who have basically been deliberately sabotaging the project not to talk of the fact that there are so many chiefs in the canoe, not one space for the overworked Indian to row the boat.

Stunned at the sight of Medusa

However, this is the big picture, somehow, we all have paintbrushes with the mind that we are all together painting a figure whose name starts with M, some are expecting something serene, enduring and captivating like Mona Lisa; some are so clueless, they are making a Mess; some dare to fantasise and think it would be Marilyn Monroe with the air up her skirt, however, at the unveiling, we ended up with Medusa, such that we were shocked to stone – that is real-life project management as I have seen it in many enterprises.

My weekends are my weekends

In view of the poor project management and the atrocious impediments of staff that have thwarted every purpose we have tried to assert not to talk of the how 10-minute job have taken the best part of 10-hours with no resolution in sight, someone has the temerity to request my presence for the weekend – fat chance.

I rarely do weekends at work, not for the money not for the fun, my weekends are for myself especially if the whole week has milked 10 hour days – something has to give and what should give is a revelation of rotten project management and planning, more so, those who demand so many hours are out of the door before the clock chimes five.

Did I say that?

Twice, I have blurted out an expletive in utter exasperation bordering on apoplexy, how is it that these people just do not seem to look like the ordinary man in the street?

Joined-up thinking is just as rare as joined-up writing, though in spite of it all, I would deliver a product that is fit for purpose catering for my customer base which includes the users, the administrators and the enterprise.

I have another month of doing this stuff, the lesson would be well learnt – How not to do projects.

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