Why bother developing and maintaining project plans from the outset – everything keeps changing….. - 12.02.18

The general manager, in response to a question from a ratepayer, asking where the program was for the project replied, “ I’m not going to have my people waste their time developing and continually changing the program, because this project is dynamic, and things change continually. Dates are contained in minutes of meetings”. Similar answers were provided for any questions relating to budgets, quality control etc
Wow. They pay him over $375,000 a year.
The “project”, had no project plan, was a grab bag of several different areas of work, each with money coming from different sources, and eventually all of the pieces of work were carried out.
There were no project plans for any of the pieces of work. The eventual costs were unknown, even for an individual piece of work.
However, the continual spruiking in the council newsletters was about how such “magnificent developments” had been completed which contributed to the council area.
In the same newsletters there were continual references to the additional rates that had to be paid to keep council assets in a good condition, through special rate variations.
QUESTION. Does something look fishy here?
ANSWER. Definitely looks fishy. Why were there no project plans? How did the projects / pieces of work get selected as priorities? ( was a cost benefit analysis, even very simple, carried out to rank the projects as high priority? And if so, were the benefits related back to the ratepayers / shareholders?
QUESTION. Why did council not manage the projects by putting controls in place?
ANSWER. Maybe they didn’t know how to? Maybe they were trying to hide something?
In any case, the performance was way below what should be expected from an organisation where the general manager is paid over $375,000 a year.
WHAT TO DO? Well, if you work for the organisation, probably nothing. Because the culture is one where “doing anything” is not encouraged. And if you are a shareholder/ ratepayer, then you could raise a hue and cry. The trouble with this is that the organisation spends more effort in “dealing with malcontents”, than actually providing a service that is acceptable. This means that those who raise a “hue and cry”, are actively denigrated and labelled as troublemakers by the organisation.
IS THERE A SOLUTION THAT ENCOURAGES “….developing and maintaining project plans from the outset….”?
Well, we have thought of, and tried out a large number of initiatives, at low cost, none of which have worked.
We’re pretty sure that there are people and organisations out there who have faced this issue. AND, have overcome it.
Everyone can see the comments, and emails as we will post them if allowed by the sender.

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