Hawaii Civil Defense
Hawaii gets a nice Saturday morning wake up alert on their phone.
Words cannot describe the initial reaction you get when you receive an alert that you need to seek immediate shelter because a ballistic missile is on it's way. You only have about 20 minutes to find your hiding place.
Project Management failed on setting up the new civil defense preparedness for a ballistic missile attack on Hawaii. The failure caused panic and pain. Your life could be ending in 20 minutes. You keep waiting for the all clear and nothing happens. It took over 38 minutes for the Hawaii Civil Defense to send out an alert that there is no threat.
Some lessons learned:
My final thoughts on the incident is that Project Management and Leadership play such an import part no matter what type of project it is. In this case the residents and visitors in Hawaii will never forget this date 01-13-2018 because a Project Manager and lack of Leadership really really messed up bad.
Going over budget within the scope of a project can happen. You think you covered all the possibilities that could occur in the project. You submitted a budget with padding so you can avoid a budget overrun. You are now at the one third milestone in the project and your funds are being depleted faster than anticipated. How did I not see this happening?
Reporting any budget variances on a monthly Project Stop Light Report will expose your budget creep. You will see how your monthly expenditures keep going up for the project. That is your cue to stop the project and revisit the budget. Are the projected estimates accurate or grossly underestimated? The faith of the project is in jeopardy now. Will the project be shutdown or will additional funds be allocated for it? A big decision needs to be made based on an accurate big picture on what the new realistic funding will be to keep the project moving.
Project Managers need to always keep an eye on the budget and raise the red flag when the project funds are depleting ahead of time. Avoid what I call Budget Creep.
(Note - this article was originally written by Drake Settsu and published on DrakeSettsu.BlogSpot.com in September 2016)
Running projects and playing football have similarities you are working toward a goal. Projects have milestones and football has touchdowns. The project manager will direct and manage project execution making adjustments along the way to keep the project moving. The quarterback will run plays and make adjustments to guide the team down the field.
(Note - this article was originally written by Drake Settsu and published on DrakeSettsu.BlogSpot.com in January 2015)
The Statement of Work also known as the SOW that a vendor provides needs to be thoroughly reviewed to ensure that all expected deliverables are there. The information in the SOW will also help to plan out the preparation work prior to the vendor performing their work. It also helps to plan out post SOW follow up work.
Read The Vendor Statement of Work for more SOW information.
Implementations in a 24 x 7 x 365 organization needs to be planned out carefully to ensure minimal down-time to the organization.
1. Test Test Test in an environment that resembles your production environment to ensure a successful implementation in your production environment. Get your sign-offs to document that the objectives have been met.
2. Change Management approves the project to go live, but there are some risks that need to be addressed in a Risk Assessment meeting. This meeting requires an audience that represents key players from all departments that will be or could be impacted by the implementation to give their feedback on the implementation. Present a timeline of the implementation tasks. Set a point of no return that means no looking back. You are committed to finalizing the implementation. Set a backout point to return the original system back to users if the implementation is encountering issues. You will need to know how long it takes to restore your system. Provide an estimated time when users can expect the system back. Pad your timeline to not take all day, but allow for the things that go bump in the night.
3. Have your standby spreadsheet of contacts that do not need to be onsite, but could be consulted during the implementation.
4. Send out periodic status updates on the progress of the implementation.
I wrote about the risk assessment and going-live on my blog Just Drake's View: