There’re lots of PMP stories that can either horrify you or bring you a big big fun forest. Below are horror stories and lessons drawn in the process dedicatedly shared by project managers. Kindly give credit to pmp.org for its post; many thanks to it, I found meaningful stories on PMP.
Story 1: “With indecision and terrible communication, there was great frustration for all.” — Joshua Y., wood manager, Kalona, Iowa, USA (My opinion: Bad communication sometimes can drive both parties to nuts and the ending may not happy for both at all)
Joshua Y.’s company was in charge of interior wood mill-work for a home, and the owner’s representative has earned reputation for dismissing some contracting companies before this owner came found Joshua Y.’s. This wood manager shared, “We knew little about the history of the project, but learned quickly of the disorganization and the wildness of the owner’s reputation. We were slated for near US$10 million worth of work, completed maybe half, then ran out of answers — and time.”. Obviously, folks about this owner ran wild and they seemed true. So what’s lesson here? You should negotiate prudentially with customers without hot blood, hot temper and red head. Always be patient to kick off work. Payment and schedules must be included in final plans. Going ahead with uncertainty just earns you uncertain future. This story just reminds me of a really nice proverb, “Haste makes waste”.
Story 2: “I learned the hard way about requesting sign-off on orders for custom items, as well as communicating with the subcontractors and developers.” — Jennifer Rudd, PMP, principal, San Pedro, California, USA (My first reaction: Again trouble from communication. How important this skill is!)
Jennifer Rudd did procurement of fixture and appliance for a developer. They had verbally clinched a deal on painted appliances in lieu of stainless steel. But the actual happenings cooked another story dramatically clashed with what the deal tells. The painters did the cabinets in antique white plus yellow aging shade, which was considerably contrasted with off-white painted appliances. That’s why those appliances found not way to be returned. Fortunately, the appliance company could switch painted panels to stainless steel ones; in return, it raised the cost by 8%. This story sounds fun, but indeed not fun at all. Clearly, it keeps involved persons on the edge of seat seeking for the best countermeasure to be taken for risk resolution.
Here’s the lesson! It’s always the best for you to use written document, detailed explanation, reiteration and visualization especially when you work in a big team of different people with different deliverables and priorities. Being a project manager, it’s your duty to keep your eye on all aspects. Make sure everyone sees that they themselves are pieces of puzzle that’re brought together to perfect the organization; likewise, their final deliverables partly contribute to the successful completion of overall project. Then they should collaborate effectively.
Story 3: “What made both projects tough was that I knew it was not the best solution for the business.” — Lily Sieu, senior technical consultant and project manager, Silverado, California, USA (My realization: Oh well, it’s life. I need to wake up from my beautiful dream. But I just don’t want! If I had been in that postion, I wouldn’t have accepted but to fight till the end. If things eventually don’t go my way, I will choose to land another position.)
Let’s hear what Lily Sieu shared, “We were moving from a multi-machine midrange architecture to a single mainframe, which meant a considerable increase in cost. Most of us thought it was a step backwards for our careers as well as for the business.
In another case, we were moving from a fully automated, custom-built warranty processing system with high dealer acceptance to one that had been written by the foreign parent company without any input from the U.S. distributor. Even more so than before, I knew the value of the systems we had in place.
It’s difficult to find peace in that kind of situation when you’re conscientious about providing value. In the end, you have to accept where the company is headed or go find someplace else to practice your profession, because it is someone else’s decision to make. Not yours. It’s not personal.”