Book smart doesn’t gurantee project success . . .

Posted: February 21, 2011 in General Blogging
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 If you have been following my blog, I am telling you a little bit about myself, my husband, my marriage, my son and my career.  I have had an interesting life and I thought I would share a slice of it.  If you want to start from the beginning, please read my post called Another story begins . . . 

As I indicated in my earlier post, I was in a very unique position.  My husband’s company was closed down.  I was offered a consulting job and moved to Ohio.  I worked for a project manager for about six months and it was obvious he didn’t have a clue.  And I, an outsider to this bank, had to escalate the issue and get the team a new project manager.

Well it all worked out fine.  We got our new project manager and it was obvious he understood the principles of project management.  In addition to the project manager they brought in a team of consultants to help with the project.  Everything seemed to be going along pretty good.  There was a lot of pressure for getting this job done.  The project was late in getting done and it was way over budget.  But we had a great team who were working hard to make it happen. 

As I said it was going fine, at least, until we put together a real project plan and the project manager saw the estimated end date.  There was a lot of work yet to be done.  The first six months were almost a complete waste of time.  We were now focussed for the first time on the real work that needed to be done. 

Keep in mind the goal of this project was to put in a system that managed tasks and time frames with the ultimate goal to reduce or eliminate any penalties or losses due to improper procedures on servicing a delinquent mortgage loan.  To accomplish this, we had to understand all the paths a loan could go as it went through the default process or out of the default process.  This was multiplied by the different investor imposed tasks and time frames.  In the end it meant thousands and thousands of tasks needed to be set up in the system, interlocked together and tested. 

So this new project manager had the brilliant idea that he was going to cut scope on the project which would bring in the timeline and reduce the overage of the budget.  The part he wanted to cut was the specific tasks that related to investor requirements.  He suggested we create one path and not put any of the investor rules into the tasks or their timeframes.  The team was a little shocked to hear this proposition.  He was cutting out the whole purpose of the project.  So to assist the team in defending the original plan, I put together some analysis that compared the savings if we did the project the right way versus the losses the bank would incur if we agreed to the reduced scope.  The difference was hundreds of millions of dollars.

Well the obvious happened, the management of the bank agreed with the rest of the team and this book-smart project manager was taken off of the project.  He knew that I had created the analysis that triggered his dismissal from the project and before he left he tried to take a punch at me.  He recommended that my contract be ended and that the team could do the project without me.  My anxiety went through the roof.  I really could not afford to lose this contract.  I needed time to put into place my plans for permanent employment.  It was a little scary being a contractor because you never knew how long you would have work.  This was too much pressure for me.  Lucky for me the management of the bank stepped in and insisted that I remain on the project.  They recognized my value that I brought to the project and I had skills that they needed.  Once again I risked my own ability to make a paycheck for doing what was right for the company.  In the end the risk paid off.


Related topics:

Same company, different job . . . 
Back again . . . 
Swallow my pride and move on . . . 
Worst fears were coming true . . . 
A new business can be rough . . .
It’s a different world . . .
Change in career, another move, and starting something new . . .
Good-bye Chicago, Hello Columbus . . .
Chicago and a time of crisis . . .
A place of prosperity . . .
There are good people in the world . . .
Hard times: a need to relocate . . .
And another story begins .


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