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Project Management in my Life – Chapter I – Mom’s Project – Part II (#2 in the series Project Management in my Life)
By Azra Duric

Even so, there were many activities that came out of nowhere and without any warning. I did not have them in my WBS dictionary; however, they needed an immediate attention. Once, during an automated test in a pilot “temp job” project, a-BOY-A announced that he had executed a “Quit job” task, which consequently shut down one of its pilot operations called “EB- part time customer support job”. I knew that this action would result in an issue escalation because additional budget would have to be approved. I must admit that this risk never even crossed my mind, let alone that I was prepared for it by identifying this risk, and applying appropriate strategies, such as risk response planning or monitoring and control.

I immediately called a meeting with My Husband sponsor, who is by the way also my primary client, and explained the issue, by announcing that project was in yellow status. I was criticized for not following the established communication plan framework, which by the way, was never signed off by this very same sponsor because of disputed verbal communication method. He insisted on written progress reports instead, to be read between dinner and evening news. He agreed though on weekly, preferably monthly status meetings, held during “TV commercials” tasks. These meetings, however, had to be randomly scheduled between “Soccer game” activities and such, as part of “Sports channel” work package activities.

When I explained that this was news to me as well, I was blamed for applying human resources practices and presented a-BOY-A organizational policies and procedures, such as “Do not quit a job without asking your parents first”. I tried to explain that a-BOY-A probably misunderstood another policy, which we have mentioned many times: “Your school is a priority number one job” and the other called” If you make mistakes you have to fix them yourself”. I knew at that time that I should have had more frequent verbal communications with a-BOY-A, but kept communications with the sponsor only at the high level.

To achieve good quality with “Second semester” work package, we needed to increase the budget, I explained to the sponsor. Because of lost revenue from “Temp job” we needed to find some other revenue sources towards grades improvement requirement. After all, “Raise a boy” project had to continue and without essential resources given to this project, such as new clothes, phone bill payments and occasional movie tickets the project could be still delivered on time, but the quality of final product would suffer.

Azra Duric is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) with 15 + years of experience in the IT industry; spanning the government, financial, education and other non-profit sectors. She has a degree in Mathematics from the University of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina and a Post Graduate Diploma in Office Systems and Data Communications from the University of Leicester, England. Since Azra moved to Canada in 1996 she has been working in a variety of government and non-profit sectors in Ontario and has been professionally working as a project manager for the last five years. She is a member of the PMI-CTT (Project Management Institute Canada Technology Triangle) Chapter and WIPMSIG (Women in Project Management Specific Interest Group). Azra lives in Guelph, Ontario and can be contacted at durica@sympatico.ca. More information about Azra can be found on her blog http://azra-pmp.blogspot.com.

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