Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Super Project Manager!

Systems are down, projects are failing, people are running in circles screaming! - time for Super Project Manager!  

When IT people (with a few years of experience) go out to decompress (aka downing a few beers) the subject of project craziness often comes up.  The time the main transaction system failed for no known reason (well, actually a recent release with a bug) or a data center went black (someone hooked up a toaster) or a major project failed (...that silly project manager never did listen to us...).  How often do you hear about Super Project Manager?? Not often...and...unfortunate.

Failures are one of our greatest teachers...and often ignored.  Part of a project managers responsibility is to provide ongoing improvements to existing processes including process used to respond to emergencies, failing projects and other risks that have impacted. Ask yourself, what's your process for these situations? Hopefully something better then all hands on deck, the blame game or duck-cover-and-roll.  Prevention is the best medicine - true - but be sure to have some base process in place THAT IS WELL COMMUNICATED.  Solid communication skills are key to resolving any issue (open and honest), stabilization is usually top priority and then focus on the problem (not the symptoms or personalities).


  1. You need more of reasonable retrospection than Super Project Manager. When emergency happens sooner or later the issue will be resolved and hopefully you won't become an orgniazation with constant emergency.

    As you say failures are greeat occassions to learn and as far as your approach is reasonable it doesn't take any rocket science to do that. I wrote about learning from mistakes some time ago.

  2. Appreciated that post. I've had times like those. Doing a large 3000 user migration from exchange 2003 to 2007. Trying to do mass data gathering through sharepoint the wrong way and raising an ugly P1 with the service desk. I turned into Super Project Manager and got it sorted. Not a good situation but definitely a learning point for next time.