Managing Large Projects and How They are Different

Managing Large Projects and How They are Different

I Want to Manage Large Projects.Every Project Manger

STOP 

Be careful what you wish for.

Managing a large project is a complete different story than managing multiple small projects. For eg. managing a deck project at home is completely different than making a dam. Imagine the number of stakeholders, the risk factors, cost, political and environment factors etc. It takes several years of experience to effectively manage a large project. Some of differences I have explained you in above lines but there are more which makes large projects different and more complex to manage.

1.) ADDING MORE RESOURCE IS NOT A SOLUTION – If you have been in the IT industry or have a degree in computer science then you must have heard this term MAN-MONTH. Fred Brooks came up with this term when we was working with IBM. It means the number of months required by a man to write the code or work he is doing. The project which he was working at IBM was getting delayed as huge lines of code was still pending. Fred started adding resources to the project in order to reduce the MAN-MONTHS, for a company like IBM adding more resources was not a problem. That’s another luxury which is not available for smaller projects. Adding more resources increased the budget but didn’t increase the throughput.

WHY Doesn’t adding up more resources help. NO. What it did was increased the complexity of management. More resources means more communication channels and More overheads. For small project having another resource helps but thats different in larger projects as number of resources could already be in thousands.

You could purchase the book by fred brooks from here.

2.) CORPORATE CHANGES – This is seen one of major threats in larger projects. Change in senior management or acquisition by another company. In one of my past project I experienced this personally. We were working to integrate 120 branch locations for a supermarket firm in hong-kong using ORACLE ERP, during the course of project the company got bought over by a big south african firm who was using SAP to manage all their stores.

SOLUTION – Work out whats in the best interest. In our case we continued the implementation as we were already half done. If we would have started SAP work many of the stores would have lost the integration part with the parent company. So we went ahead with the plan developed an service which takes data from oracle and feeds into SAP. The project was only overbudget by 7%. After the successful signoff we started working on Scope for the new SAP Project.

3.) IMPACT OF PROJECT FAILURE

Winner Winner Chicken DinnerMovie – 21

. You have to take care of the BLACK SWANS of the project. Its true that unprecedented events do occur but their impact varies substantially depending on the size of project. Not able to complete a mobile app on time is a different scenario than not able to complete a dam before the rainy season. The development of app could lead to losses to company due to delayed launch but a dam delay could result in loss of lives or maybe damange to existing uncompleted structure. Such an incidence could bring the company to a fall, stocks will plunge, reputation go down and they might face penalty in court, damages etc.

Could your company take such an IMPACT.

 

I have more to share and I will keep on posting . Keep On reading.

Akash Deep Singh

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