Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Time – What Time?

I’ve been meaning to write a blog for so very long – but just haven’t had enough time.

I’ve been meaning to do a lot of things, but haven’t had the time to do them. Though I promise that yearly bath is coming up . . . maybe . . .

Work is always very busy. They don’t plan anything at all – but they do have a great strategy in place whenever someone asks about it – they pass the buck.

I had breakfast with the President and CEO last week and mentioned to him some ideas surrounding project management. I didn’t propose rocket science or anything – just the usual project life cycles and stages of development most companies use.

His response was amazingly the exact same as everyone else I’ve approached about this.

He told me they do project management – and he listed a bunch of departments that have some form or another of managing their time, resources and workflow.

I asked him if any of those departments he just rambled on ever work with those departments he didn’t mention – like mine.

He said, “sure, all the time.”

Then there lies the problem – when you have some well thought out plans, and someone goes and sticks you into a group where chaos rules, watch out for the falling debris.

Even the most well thought out plans will fall apart instantly when you introduce elements – and by elements here I mean people – that don’t plan.

When deadlines don’t exist, project plans fail.

So, what happens when you combine a group of planners, with strict deadlines and workflows with people that don’t respect those deadlines and workflows?

Rubble, messy, clumsy, poorly executed projects that are late – or worse, not complete.

The poor marketing department – I pick on them a lot in this blog. But then, if they weren’t so inept, I guess I’d have to search somewhere else for the problem child to write about.

The marketing department is supposed to give my team content once a month for the weekly corporate newsletter we produce. A monthly deadline shouldn’t pose a problem for anyone out of kindergarten.

Last month, they were so late, I told them to forget it, we’ll put them in the next month. That gave ‘em two months – TWO WHOLE FREAKING MONTHS – to get their stuff together. I figured they’d have it in early. Hell with that much time, they should have been able to supply me with a year’s worth of copy.

Nope. Two months to do the job, and they tell me they are still running late (after the deadline no doubt) and ask for an extension. I tell them if it’s in within the next hour that’s fine.

It took ‘em three hours more to get me something they had two months to work on.

Now I know what you’re thinking – but don’t they have other things to do as well, besides working on my needs?

Yes they do. But so do I. So does everyone else in the office. Yet marketing is the only team that is constantly late, or no showing.

That’s partly because of poor project management – or more likely none at all. Marketing doesn’t have a game plan. They don’t have a blue print. The closest I’ve seen anyone in marketing come to actually planning anything involved reservations for lunch – and they couldn’t do it themselves, they had to get one of the admin assistants to actually make the booking.

So, as I’m munching on my muffin at my breakfast with the president, I listen to his response to my question about the lack of project management.

He tells me they have a PMO office, and it’s just been the projects I’ve worked on haven’t gone through that office.

I suggest that maybe all projects should go through that office – that way everything will run more efficiently.

I think I saw a spark in his eyes. Now whether or not that spark ignites into a fire which he uses to fuel my idea, or fizzles – that remains to be seen.

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