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UNIMAGINED - a Muslim boy meets the West

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October 19, 2005


Stephan Toth

A good story but tragic in a way.

Three issues come to light here.

1) You are firstly responsible for your integrity and future employability so you cannot allow yourself to be involved in what is obviously unethical business dealings.

2) You are employed by and your first loyalty and duty of care is to the company that employs you. Not to any particular individual in that company. Protocol may dictate that you speak to your superiors first but your over riding duty and your personal integrity suggest that you put the company first, so you have to take this kind of behaviour higher, you have no choice in this matter.

Personally very early on I would have written a comprehensive report on the situation and made firm recommendations and gave one copy to my superior and cc'd other copies to the board members.

If they accepted my recommendations fine, I would have stayed and worked thought the problems if not I would have left. If they pretended to be in agreement and then went back on that agreement I would also have left.

If I left the firm, then I would have had not obligation to them and would definitely have informed the customer and probably gave them a copy of the report too.

Why, it comes down to personal integrity again, sooner or later that company may be doing business with my new company and I wouldn’t want them to recite the previous situation to my detriment to my new bosses or maybe I would be applying to them for my next position and would want them to look favourably on my application. Maybe people employed by that company may come to my company in the future and I wouldn’t want to be associated with the tale of the worst IT Project Management Job in the World.

Of course in Prince 2 you would have immediately issued a stop notice to the whole of the project. LOL, and taken the consequences for your actions.

Stephan Toth

An after thought!

Any manager regardless of type who does not have authority is nothing more than a general clerk.

This especially goes for Project Managers who by definition have total responsibility for the successful completion of their project plan.

Imagine a liberalised democratic captain of a ship trying to navigate by consensus through perilous stormy seas.

Therefore the last question that any Project Manager should demand a clear and concise answer for at his or her interview is 'What authority do I have'

If the answer is anything but ‘YOU HAVE FULL MANAGERIAL RIGHTS AND AUTHORITY’ then do not take on the job, if you do take it on, you are probably doomed to fail or at least have a highly stressful time with the company.

The next thing is to set the precedence of how you are going to be treat and how you intend to work with both team members that you control and those above you who’s services you will need to do your job.

If necessary, tell them straight, I do not set myself up to fail and I wont allow you to set me up to fail. Either you give me full open and continuous support or get someone else to play your management games.

Being open, honest and straight with people and setting the ground rules from the outset of your job will save you embarrassments, time and sleepless nights throughout your career with the company.

You will also gain a whole load of respect as being a true professional of equal value to others in the company.
Kind regards

Stephan Toth

Project Management Tools That Work (Bruce)

"My job apparently was to miraculously fix all the problems and deliver the project – keeping to the promised schedule."

Yes, yes, yes. This is far too typical. After several successful projects, I was invited to take on a really big effort. I was to bring all my "good ideas and techniques" and make this big albatross fly. The catch? I just couldn't change any of the parameters of the project (cost, schedule, functionality, etc.). They wanted me to "work hard" and show everyone that the project they had approved really could do exactly what they said it could do.

I'm always amazed how we get ourselves into these situations, in this day and age.

My candidate for one of the worst projects:


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