2 minutes reading time (350 words)

Brexit: Project Management Approach


Two senior executives of a quite successful widget manufacturing company recruit you as Project Manager, to deliver their vision of welding the gates to the company's main site shut. 

One is from Human Resources (HR) and they believe they'll be much better able to control the conditions of employment of the workforce once the workforce can no longer leave the site. The other is from finance, and thinks that if the gate is welded shut, then at some time in the future, they'll be able to build another gate, possibly pointing in a different directions, which will make it easier to sell widgets to people who live on that side of the site.  

Slightly sceptical, you ask whether you can have any business analysis resource to establish requirements. They tell you, no need, they have established the requirement for a welded shut gate, and show you the proof: an aged piece of paper with the question "Do you think we might benefit from a larger gate?" and a spreadsheet that shows 52% of the staff agree that they might benefit from a larger gate.

As a quizzical frown crosses your brow, the executive from Finance shouts loudly "gates are gates" and the executive from HR simply nods gnomically, smiling and saying nothing.

Considering risk, you begin explaining that it will become difficult to get widgets out of the site once the gates are welded shut. The finance exec looks annoyed and repeats that at some point in the future, they will open a new gate, probably, and in the meantime, resources and products can simply be thrown over the welded gate. She also agrees that a risk log is fine to publish as long as all the risks are first removed from it.

You glance out of the window and see a team of workers carrying welding gear to the gate; the finance exec notices your exasperation and explains, that on reflection, no planning or project is required, as the gate has to be welded shut straight away.  Why ?  Because staff are beginning to wonder if bigger gates ever were the correct answer to the wrong question.

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Sunday, 21 July 2024

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