10 Harsh Truths about Success — Cristian Mihai

Contrary to what you might be inclined to believe about this photograph, it was taken in 1999, when Jeff Bezos was already worth around 9 billion dollars. Yet he worked from that office, drove around in a Honda, and had a terrible sense of fashion. Today’s richest man was working from headquarters located on the […]

10 Harsh Truths about Success — Cristian Mihai

Unboxing PMBOK / PMP Post#4 – Adherence Professional ethics & Social responsibility – A safety net for project stakeholders

Professional ethics and social responsibility of project managers is one of the less discussed topics in the project management circles. Many see it as very idealistic hence feel that it is not practical to practice professional ethics in today’s work environment. Unfortunately, the fact is just the opposite. In today’s highly competitive world, it is much safer and sustainable if one follow the professional ethics in all transactions. Adherence to professional ethics at work place provides the much needed safety net for the project management team against major project risks. If you do not trust my words, please read the following headlines;

Fired city project manager, contractors arrested in Bloomington embezzlement scheme

Wykoff is charged with 24 counts of embezzlement and 1 count of conspiracy for false invoices on sidewalk jobs

U.S. Postal Service Facilities Project Manager Arrested on Corruption Charges

CBI arrests MECL Project manager for bribe…

Texas Rangers arrest recently fired San Marcos construction manager….

That is a huge list….

If you want to get the detailed list just google for ‘Project manager arrested’. So, it is not utopian stuff. If anything goes wrong with the project, as a project manager you are accountable. When the Delhi Metro Rail work was in progress, because of a sub-contractor issue, two people died in an accident. Instead of putting the blame on the sub-contractor, the chief project manager (Mr. Sreedharan) took responsibility and resigned. That was a great demonstration of professionalism and professional ethics. Following professional ethics is a good safety net for project managers and in the longer run, your reputation will increase and bigger opportunities will come your way.

The professional ethics of project managers are classified into four groups comprising of;

  • Responsibility
  • Respect
  • Fairness
  • Honesty

The following mind map depicts the professional ethics of project managers. Click on the diagram to zoom in.

Contact me for a customized study plan.

Corona virus – The unknown risk and it’s impact on business

These are the moments of truth when the chasm between theory and practice evaporates.

Over 2,000 people dead so far, more than 80,000 infected and 40+ countries affected. Cities in lock down, travel restrictions in place, plant closures mounting. Global trade, commerce, tourism, investment and supply chains in disarray. Forbes Read the full article

Microsoft’s announcement on February 26, 2020, that it was revising its revenue guidance for Q3 FY20 is only the latest warning that the COVID-19 coronavirus is having a larger than anticipated impact on global business. Read the full article

Trade impact of Corona virus for India estimated at $348 mn: UN report. Read more

Apple said Monday its latest smartphones would be delayed as a result of the virus, affecting its first-quarter sales. 

A drop in demand for international travel due to flight cancellations will cost airlines some $29B this year, the International Air Transport Association announced Thursday. 

Disney has warned of a hit to its park profits in China — they closed to prevent further spread.

While most U.S. real estate impact has been contained to businesses with direct ties to China, material supply chains that begin in China on which construction sites and developments rely could start to be affected by disruptions as the crisis stretches on.

Read more

News of the impact of corona virus is pouring in and the situation can worsen, if the spread of the virus is not controlled.

Classic example of how an unknown risk can impact the business plans, business strategies and the projects which implements these strategies.

Will have to wait and watch to see how organizations across the globe are gearing up with new business strategies, portfolio changes to deal with this unknown risk which has become a known risk now.

Generally risks can be classified into;

  • Known risks – We know about them already
  • Known unknowns – We know that we do not know about them
  • Unknown unknowns – We do not know about them, and we are totally ignorant about it
  • Primary risk – Corona virus is a primary risk
  • Secondary risks – Impact on global business is a secondary risk
  • Residual risks – The virus may be contained, but still there is a possibility of it re-surfacing
  • Positive risks – Opportunity for medicine and mask makers
  • Negative risks – Corona is primarily a negative risk. It impacts the majority negatively.

The Corona virus is definitely a negative risk for humanity and for many projects relying on the supply chains emanating from the epicenter of the virus. What about those companies making those masks and vaccines. For them there is a positive risk triggered as a secondary risk of the primary risk, the corona. That positive risk is the added demand for masks and medicines. Here someones loss is someone else’s gain.

Generally speaking, known risks are easy to manage. Known unknowns are easy to prioritize. The most difficult ones are the unknown risks or the force majeure types. In traditional risk prioritization we associate Probability and Impact only.

PI = Probability x Impact (Qualitative risk analysis)

Here lies the opportunity to apply Risk Priority Number (RPN) methodology by adding one more parameter ‘Difficulty in detection’

Risks can me ranked based on RPN = Probability x Impact X Difficulty in detection

With the fast changing global environment, the probability of unknown risks are much higher and we have to innovate to counter them. I am optimistic about the capability of mankind to innovate and survive in adverse conditions.

Money can buy you a dog, but only love will make him wag his tail..

Do not love your work too much, else you will fail !

Love your work‘, I have been hearing this for more than three decades now. My actual experience is different. Too much attachment to work, for that matter to anything leads to stress and sub-optimal outcomes.  When my daughter got married, when my 1 year old grandson went back to Bangalore after staying with us for a couple of months, when I had to leave a position where I was very successful in order to move to a higher position, when I had to transfer my star performer whom I groomed for success to the next higher position where he is going to report to someone else, I felt the same pain,   I felt more sadness than joy. Everything we nurture closely will grow, and at some point in time, will leave us to grow further. Or, is it just the opposite?. We must learn to be attached in a detached way for growth of all involved. A kind of detached attachment. Sometimes I get too much obsessed with my work and I get very possessive about the product. I get really upset even with the very thought of someone else trying to change it from the way I perceived it. Learning and practicing ‘Detached attachment’ is the key to growth of the product and the owners. Everything and everybody must grow and flourish, and what took us till here, may not take us further. If we latch on to past, the future will elude us. Applicable to all passionate people, irrespective of whether you are an entrepreneur, architect, product owner, research associate, husband, wife, Dad, Mother…the pain of handing over something closer to your heart hurts, and at the same time it is very much required for growth. Learning to love everything in a detached manner, with the awareness that this also must pass away, to live up to the Grand plan our creator have for us and knowing that he is the only constant allows us to approach such situations  very normally. Live life to Love, lead and leave.