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Project and Roll-out Management Basics through a Kite story...

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Project Management can be learnt through events in routine life and not only from books. Proactive thinking and Active monitoring is the key to success.

Published in: Leadership & Management
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Project and Roll-out Management Basics through a Kite story...

  1. 1. Create Share Evolve Life in Balance Let’s Fly a Kite 1 Hope its not gonna rain on Saturday? Naaa, weather report says it’s a bright and sunny day. -Maybe the sun is going to be strong when wind is good, how will we protect ourselves from Sun? -What happens if wind becomes too strong? -What happens if kite crashes over a tree or electricity pole? -What if I end up injuring my finger by the string? Kids want to fly a kite. It is going to be fun…..should plan this event. What type of Kite? When it is good day to fly Kite? Maybe Saturday? Where I am going to fly the Kite? What items I need to fly the Kite? How I am going to fly the kite? -From where I will get those items and how much it is going to cost? -Who all will help me to fly the Kite? Tom for sure, John is too young, I will convince Julia.. -Who will do what, when and how? Julia can hold kite for Launch…Tom will manage string drum and fly while I am sipping on beer and watching over John. But…what if…. I know basics of kiting, but not sure what will I do if it dives down or banks too much…. Let me call up Jack, he has been flying these things since childhood… Inception, Planning, Resourcing, budgeting, inventory check Risk identification, risk verification, mitigation Skill Assessment, Training Hitender Krishan Jha jhahiten@gmail.com
  2. 2. Create Share Evolve Life in Balance Let’s Fly a Kite 2 Site Survey, Constraint identification, Last Minute Adjustments and Limit Setting, Execution Closure Feedback and Lessons Learnt Well Well, here we are, let’s check-out this place and see if this good to launch the kite. Which direction should we launch the kite? How do I know which direction wind is flowing? -Wind is too strong, I don’t know how to set the bridles, let’s call Jack. -The tree lines can cause trouble, It is risky, lets fly just before tree- lines. -Now lets us setup for launch. Position the kite, position flyer, the string roll and pull the string with full power. Aah! now John wants to fly too… Will let him hold the kite for a while when wind is slow, else he is going kill all the joy. We had enough fun today, let us home. Bring the kite down gracefully while someone rolls the string drum to avoid entanglement. Check if all items are back in bag and then we go home. So how was it kids? We had fun, but….You forgot John’s pacifier and since you also you forgot to carry snacks, we are starving. Now order pizza for us.. Conflict and Expectation Management Don’t want to disappoint kids last minute…. let me do a trial with Jack….he is good with kites… Good we tested it, this kite is drifting too much left, let us rebalance it. Its simple, Give the slack once the kite is high enough and pull when its drifting too much. Trial, Staging, Rehearsal, MoP Unexpected expenses…. Hitender Krishan Jha jhahiten@gmail.com
  3. 3. Create Share Evolve Life in Balance •Just like flying Kite, project launch and closure requires most of planning, skill and effort. Involve project architect or consultant in planning phase even if it costs little more. Projects could be similar but never same. Time, place and people vary and hence the project dynamics. •Excel is not a Project management tool. Investment on ‘Project Operations Tools’ saves lot of time and stress. •MPP is a good off-line planning tool. For Project management, use something that is network based. A PM tool that allows effort booking by PM is apparently a ‘Management cheating tool’. •Just because whole world is talking Agile, you don’t have to go with the fashion. A commercial project is not test ground for “model validation”. Chose what works best for your project else model will become the project. •Many PMs love spending time on beautifying reports without realizing neither anyone one is paying for it nor it is going to help the user. What is not going to help user is WASTAGE of Sponsor’s money. If PM application cannot generate right reports, ask IT to find a solution for you. •Knowing the path and walking the path are two different things. Certification and degree can never compensate experience. Putting ego aside and seeking advise of experienced SMEs is right thing to do. •Take effort estimate from three or more SMEs, study previous projects thoroughly. Remember, there is no task that takes 5 minutes and there is no project meeting that can be concluded in 30 minutes. •Local expertize should be utilized while budgeting. It saves time and effort. •No matter how many times we have done it right, use checklists. It does not hurt and creates good reference for next project. •Risk register helps you and others in future, hence maintaining it is very good practice. Experience in people’s head is best but recorded in digital form or on paper is still good. ‘Quantitative Risk Analysis’ is not just a buzz word, it is very good tool to quantify and estimate contingency. •Commercial projects are like live show. Trial and rehearsal before project is not hygiene factor, its mandatory. All experimentation should be done before the project. After kick-off what happens is as per plan or be ready to tackle variance on cost, schedule or effort. •Monitoring and control is critical part of project. Just like flying kite, situation should be monitored before applying control. Over control, will restrict performance potential of people while under-control will derail the course of project. •A Project manager identifies appropriate project monitoring mechanisms before the project starts. •Human aspect must not be overlooked, bugs are manufactured in stressed human mind, not in computers. Micro managers should be given report making work. This will keep them busy and team will have space to work. •If you are sponsor and it comes to compromise, following options can be looked at: •For Independent projects, accept slippage on schedule without compromising on cost. For Inter-linked projects (part of larger program) effort variance should be compromised, for Time-bound projects, cost and effort variance both should be compromised. There is nothing that can bring the time back. Imagine if you have to launch a rocket to mars and you miss it on the day it is closest to earth. Even firing the launch team will not help.  •Most importantly, Fly kite, it is good stress reliever.   Some key lessons I learnt….. 3 Hitender Krishan Jha jhahiten@gmail.com

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