Earlier in Successful Project Management: Rebuilding the Walls of Jericho, I mentioned that there are a number of factors that impact on project success and several writers highlight them from different perceptions. Borrowing from my own 20 year professional experience in banking and consulting, in which I was involved in a number of projects, I narrowed these to 4 keys to successful project management:
- The right Leadership
- Sufficient tools and resources
- Effective coordination of all stakeholders
- Risk management
In this article, we’re risk management.
Every project will face some risk or another, which come from internal or external parties. I see risk coming from areas that do not share in the same passion for the objectives of the project. In my view, effective management of risk really has to do with how the project leadership decides to deal with it, using the three common methods, named by animal traits that include:
- Ostrich, head in the sand
- Chameleon, conforming
- Rhino, confronting
The Ostrich method is common among leaders who prefer to avoid conflict, which is never successful because the problem never really goes away. I was once involved in a project in which a system was being implemented that could not provide functionality for key product features. The project team kept procrastinating, dealing with this bottleneck in the system functionality, until the time came to get the product into the market. Regrettably ,it was at this stage when the system was abandoned with a significant cost in time and money.
The Chameleon method is the approach of conformers, trying to get everybody around the table happy. In another project I was involved in, the managers coined a term “workarounds”. These workarounds were areas in which the system functionality was unable to fully automate the workflow. In what seemed like a clever approach, the project managers developed workaround tools by piecing together parts of the old and new until a later date, when a proper fix could be developed. From what I have heard, years later, these workarounds are still in use.
Nehemiah took the Rhino approach to managing risk; he confronted it head on. When he noticed that fear and envy among their neighbors had stirred rebellion and that the project was at risk, Nehemiah divided his workers into two teams. While half worked on the construction, the other half held spears, shields, bows and wore armors at the construction sites. He also instituted 24 hour watchmen at the walls of the city with trumpets; his trust in God did not temper his caution as he told the people “Wherever you hear the sound of the trumpet, rally to us there. Our God will fight for us”. His enemies, perceiving that he knew their plans and was prepared for them, withdrew from further disturbance to the project.
So with such divine project management skills, Nehemiah completed the wall in a record 52 days. It is written that when his enemies heard of it, they were very disheartened, for they perceived that this was a work done by God. Indeed if we employ such effective project management skills, maintaining our faith in God at all times, we should be able to receive the same success as Nehemiah. For our God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.
Lameck Otim is from Uganda, Africa. After a train smash encounter with Christ that threw a tail spin in a 17 year Corporate banking career, he turned to writing in an attempt to reach out to peers and friends for Christ. It is in his writing that Lameck found purpose, sharing the life changing truths of the Word of God, mostly drawn from my his own experiences in the salvation journey, family and workplace.
Lameck has been married for 14 years and has 4 children (between one and 11 years old). Being a Christian has enabled him to find such fulfillment in family that he never thought was possible.
- Increase Your Customer Retention By Providing Positive Experiences - June 16, 2017
- Success Is In The Journey, But We Will Surely Make Mistakes Along The Way - March 23, 2017
- Accountability Vacuum: Who’s Responsibility Is It, Really? - March 13, 2017
- Rich in Christ - September 23, 2016
- Have You Failed Yet? Using Failure As A Route To Success - September 8, 2016
- Are You At the Peak of Success? - August 31, 2016
- Why Borrow? How Working in Banking Motivated My Debt Free Life - August 18, 2016
- Beyond Culture: Leading Diverse Personalities To Drive Results - August 4, 2016
- How to Have More Balance Today - July 21, 2016
- A Recipe for Building Your Global Brand - July 12, 2016