THE SECOND INSTALLMENT: Personal Sustainability Challenge: Community Development Management System Guidance for Business

Ahhhhh, the pleasures, adventures, challenges, and interesting conversations from Workshop Two are now over and exist as wonderful memories as I head on from there….

As we left it, I / we were in the process of preparing to write Community Development guidance for our DNV GL management systems assessment protocol, ISRS (i.e., the International Sustainability Rating System). This second blog is intended to update the progress and my reflections regarding such progress.  Officially, this initiative is treated as a project in the company and so naturally we are all aiming for the perfect trifecta of good project management: on time, on budget, and on spec (specifications related to quality and any other relevant aspects, such as HSE, for example).

For us, this is important for two reasons:

  1. Our customers are expecting a new product launched relative to the time when we said it would be launched.
  2. DNV GL risks being too late to the market to maximize the opportunities represented by having leading community development guidance in an existing popular, reputable, and effective product / service we offer to industry.

While it is not a critical / major issue yet, I am a bit frustrated in that this project is not fulfilling the ‘on time’ aspects of good project management. We are about 4 months delayed to date, and I am worried that this affects both product launch timing (which should have started about 3 months ago) and influence customer perceptions (‘Can DNV GL deliver the goods?!?!?).

I have analysed this and can only come to the conclusion that two major things have occurred:

  1. The Project Manager in the UK, around three months ago, got heavily involved in a very large, commercially important project (the reality is that the oil and gas industry is still in a slump, and we need external project work for revenue generation) which very much distracted him from this internal project’s expected deliverables, and
  2. There was inadequate and misleading communication from the Project Manager which was not effective in managing stakeholder perceptions. For example, we have emails which specifically state that the updated assessment protocol should / would be ready for ‘piloting’ with key customers by December 2016. However, speaking with this same person, the message is that this was never an expectation. So how should we feel / react to such a contradiction? This is the frustrating thing.

I have no fear that the project won’t be finished. It will.  It is just the timing issue and the ‘sour’ feeling that has resulted from the various inadequate / misleading communications (mostly by emails) along the way that have tainted an otherwise fantastic learning experience, intra-company cooperation, and overall great project.

This is a lesson(s) learnt which needs to be captured as part of our project management procedures, and I will process this more myself and reflect later on what can be done for improvement. Looking at the trifecta of good project management: on time, on budget, and on spec, I think I’d rather be a bit late (on time) than settle for lower quality (on spec) and/or a bloated budget (on budget).

See ya’ soon!

One thought on “THE SECOND INSTALLMENT: Personal Sustainability Challenge: Community Development Management System Guidance for Business

  1. Dear Stain, I hear you and feel you, it’s the most frustrating of predicaments in project management. Could this be as a result of losing momentum with a long term project which has been overtaken by immediate high priority projects? I am not sure of the circumstances or background, however the key to successful delivery is a strong project leader who drives the project team forward with the objectives always clearly stated and repeatedly communicated. Timing is of course crucial but perhaps the delivery of the timings were underestimated, I am not sure. It’s a difficult one to support on, but location and distance of the project team members as well as re-prioritisation within the business may have played a significant part on this.

    I find in such project management issues, revisiting objectives and commitment a key starting point – what are the fundamental reasons for the slow progress of the project, time, resource, budget, commitment, appetite, timeliness, or even project management skills of the leader. The passion and desire of the leader should shine through, but if they lose that drive and ambition, certainly it can affect the project delierables. Perhaps revisiting the whole project, setting new roles and responsibilities and realistic timeframes within the parameters of the daily responsibilities many face may be a way forward. Good luck with it and look forward to hearing more from you.

    Like

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