By David Nickson
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Additional resources for Project Management Disasters & How to Survive Them
They are usually affected by the environment in which they exist, an environment outside their direct control. Individual A project is a one off. Even if it is similar to a previous one, it is still unique. Pilots will tell you that every time they land an aircraft it is different – even when it is the same aircraft at the same airport on the same day of the week for the tenth time; projects are just the same. Bridge-building is another good example – ask any construction project manager who has worked on one and they will tell you that every one is unique.
The bid manager, a strong personality, had put forward a strong case and had demonstrated a good theoretical understanding of the project management skills needed to get the job done. However, the first project manager supplied was not a strong character, and the project was seen to be rapidly getting away from him. The supplier offered a second candidate to ‘get things back on track’. Sadly, this proved harder than expected, and after less than two weeks the new manager could not be located either on-site or at the nearby hotel.
This is usually only a short-term factor as real project disasters become increasingly hard to hide. It is also counterproductive as the longer the problem is left, the less likely it is to be repairable. 3 gives common ones. Cause Notes Political This may be internal or external, but the effect is similar, as it becomes unacceptable to admit that a disaster has occurred. In politics with a capital ‘P’, it is almost unheard of for a failure to be admitted – the Millennium Dome was still very much a ‘white elephant’ when this book was written, but few of those involved would accept this.