Project Management

Project Management During an International Crisis: Leadership in a Small Town

Following 20 years at a large Canadian telecommunications firm, Bruce established the project management consulting firm Solutions Management Inc (SMI). Since 1999, he has provided contract project/program management services, been a source for project management support personnel and created/delivered courses to over 7,000 participants in Canada, the United States and England.

As an elected official in a community of under 25,000 residents, I certainly did not campaign on being the right person to help lead the municipality in the event of an international pandemic. My commitment was to bring project management rigor to local government. It was not to be involved in heart-wrenching discussions as an insidious virus made its way ever closer to my hometown.

Background: How did this happen?
It was the summer of 2018 when I committed to seeking election in my local community. I did all the things you would expect. I continued my tradition of being very active in the town. I attended every possible networking opportunity. My level of social media activity was higher than ever, and I purchased advertisement space in a local newspaper.

When I personally knocked on every door (more than once), I spoke about my private sector experience and the more than 20 years I’ve been involved in project management. I talked to voters about the importance of establishing plans before work begins. I gave examples of where risk management hadn’t been used in the municipality and the impact it had on the township.

I committed to doing everything possible to improve financial management in my community and spoke time and again about how project management was part of the solution of improving our town. As always, communication was critical. It ranged …

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"Don't compromise yourself. You are all you've got."

- Janis Joplin