Project Management

Beating the Bad Times

Andy Jordan is President of Roffensian Consulting S.A., a Roatan, Honduras-based management consulting firm with a comprehensive project management practice. Andy always appreciates feedback and discussion on the issues raised in his articles and can be reached at [email protected] Andy's new book Risk Management for Project Driven Organizations is now available.

Clearly the global economy is being challenged right now. Some parts of the world are doing better than others, but there is considerable uncertainty in virtually all markets. For the many independent project managers out there, this can be a worrying time. Companies tend to cut back on contract spending before they impact permanent employees and this may mean that contract opportunities are seriously diminished or eliminated. How then does the self-employed project manager survive? Get involved with government work.
Why is Government work different?
Governments aren’t immune from downturns in the economy--if employment and corporate profits are lower, then tax revenue is lower. But governments are not as susceptible to economic variations as private industry is. Governments still spend a lot of money in every period on both strategic and operational projects, and that can create a safety net for project managers who are finding fewer opportunities in the private sector.
However, in order to take advantage of these opportunities you have to understand how government contracting works. Although there are exceptions, the vast majority of government contracts are awarded via requests for proposals--RFPs. Essentially this process involves the publication of a document outlining the work to be performed, details of the required solution/approach, the …

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"A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on. "

- Winston Churchill