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A cry for help

01 Aug 10



  1. You have 250 projects, 2000 tasks assigned to 25 staff (With 150 projects overdue). The Excel doc you keep track of everything in is 700mb and takes a month to update after getting manual printed reports from the team.


  2. Your entire project management process hinges on the availability and stock numbers of yellow, green and orange highlighter pens and A2 cardboard sheets in the office.


  3. The new creative director comes from the school of ‘Web2.0’ thinking. He tries to instil in you the value of having your project management software run on every wired device possible. Then he asks you to “go find that piece of software”.


  4. You save important info about a $100,000 project on a $0.03 sticky note because it’s ‘efficient’ and makes good ‘business sense’.


  5. It’s nearly Christmas and the client gives you six months’ work to do in two weeks. Then he goes on holiday, but insists on having direct access to his projects. You cancel your holiday plans, as you need to manage the team and projects. You think “If only I had some web-based project management software, I could manage this project remotely.”


  6. Your wallet contains scribbled lists for work, people to contact, personal, shopping, and your monitor is covered head to toe with Post-it notes.


  7. You keep a basic notepad on your desk. You list all your work to do and where it’s all at. Your management style is to highlight different projects on the list using different borders, colour pens and font sizes. When the page is no longer readable, you rewrite the list on a new page


  8. You have team members all over the place. The old method of mailing lists of projects to people just isn’t working…


  9. “Where’s that memo so-and-so sent me? I knew I had it somewhere on my computer. Bob, can you fix my computer – it’s virused my floppy and I can’t find my memo…”


  10. Your desk, keyboard and monitor become covered in sticky notes. One day the office cleaner comes in and tidies up all the stickies. As a result of losing that info, the company goes bankrupt.


  11. You take a flash new high-paying job at a design company as a project manager. On the first day you ask the team to put the project summaries on your desk so you can start to get sorted. You head out to lunch and on return are greeted with:

    - A filing cabinet full of project files
    - 200+ Sticky notes
    - 75 big brown job bags (full of material)
    - 3 handwritten job books with no logic to the numbering
    - 29 printouts of email conversations
    - 65 flowcharts of various work
    - Some old pieces of paper with important contact details
    - A staff list showing that all staff are ‘jack of all trades’
    - 15 messages from disgruntled clients about deadlines
    - 12 new project quotes to write.


  12. You are the CEO of a large company. The current project manager had about 500 projects on the go and it was all in his head. You get a call one morning: the project manager’s deer hunting buddy informs you that he died from a freak shooting accident.


  13. ”Can you ask the new guy to get the old guy’s permission to approve the, um big projects budget?” ” What project?”


  14. You manage projects….

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