Tuesday, July 29, 2003

Failure to start

It is a front page news in the NST to-day.The Work Minister warned to terminate contractors that fail to start work within a month from the date of possesion of site.The main reason is to avoid delays in project implementation.

As a student of project management( I also teach sometimes), we must list down ALL type of delays and the major causes of project delay.When we understand what, where, who,why,when and how,then only we can properly address the issue.

How about the higher issues of achieving project goals and objectives?

IMHO,most projects will have problems due to incompetent stakeholders.
Failure to start is failure to complete.

Monday, July 28, 2003

Risk management

I am pleasantly suprised when a friend talked about risk management in his company projects.He is the project director in his company and he told me the project get into problems not because of technology but due to problems from his people.That is music to my ears. And thank God, this gentleman knows something about project management.Many pretend they know a lot about project management;in fact they know very little.

Then, as usual, I began to talk more than I am supposed to in this subject of my passion.What else? I ended getting a talk to deliver to my friend's staff on 7.8.2003 .That is my small contribution to the good project management practice in Malaysia.

My first guru in project management told me that 80% of PM is risk management.He agreed.

Thursday, July 24, 2003

School Lab Project

According to newspapers reports, the Minister of Education blamed solely the PMC and the Contractor for the delays. The MOE is just the project owner.Period!

Who appointed the PMC and the Contractor?
Does outsourcing the work to others relieve the responsibility and accountability of the project owner?

Thursday, July 17, 2003

To-day I conmpleted the part 11 of JKR PM course for 3rd batch. A few of them said that our course should also be given to the project people at state level. My team has taken note as were customers focussed and we practise PM methodology ourselves. Next week, we will come with proposals.

My partner bought two latest books on PM.I think they are also good for my reference. One is Portable MBA in Project Management by Eric Virzuh and the other is from UK.

Tuesday, July 08, 2003

JKR requires that contractor must submit a program of work within 14 days. What quality of work program can contractor comes up within such a short time? It will be full of assumptions and certainly there will be a lot of uncertainties built within the program. I think three months is more appropriate.

Friday, July 04, 2003

On the 7th of July,2003, I am starting another session on PM course.
Books recommended for further reading:

1. PMBOK-Project management body of knowledge-PMI
2. The fast Forward MBA in Project Management- Eric Virzuh
3. Project Management for Dummies-Stanley E Portny

Wednesday, June 18, 2003

I was glad to meet one of my course participant in PM who told me that now he is better equiped to deal with the contarctors. And last night ,he was telling me that he has problem with KTM and he treated it as a work package .He also mentioned about stakeholders management.

Wow, I am happy for him.

Sunday, June 15, 2003

After my isyak prayers, a group of us went for TT.(teh tarik). When I raised the issue to my friend( ex-Col) about the the project fiasco that was splashed on the front page of a local paper to-day, he said simply: We donnot have the right culture! No matter what system and procedure you use,the people must have the good values .
I rest my case. I concur,Sire.

Saturday, June 14, 2003

Commets from KFJ on 16/3/2003

I personally agree with you AbeDib!

My experience with TH when I performed Hajj last season made me rate them overall as "satisfactory"...lots can be improved.

Mua'sassah is, well how should I put it....perhaps "second class" citizen when it comes to Hajj, we were placed in buildings further away from the Baitullah al Haram, the jumrahs and Masjid Nabawi.

The food was "eatable" but after 3-4 weeks, we opted to purchase our own food, and pity those who have just enough to spend for the season...but of course the main reason we were there was to perform Hajj....not eat!

What I am really upset is when they use our Hajj as the reason to kind of "protect" their position - "sabar, kena banyak sabar, cubaan etc.." I mean if the same complaints are being placed every season by the pilgrims, something must be wrong somewhere.

But then again, AbeDib, based on my personal observation, not stereo-typing the "tour package" Hajj people, sometimes the people really need to understand the real fact why they were there. If they expect special treatment all the while because they pay about at least RM5k more than the mua'sassah...well then, its like if you are richer, your place in heaven is better?

I even came accross some of them who were talking among themselves saying that how come people who are paying less gets better treatment than them? Some even have the "proud" look in their face when they came across us - our "bag kecik" were printed with TH & flag of Malaysia while theirs were more colorful, comfortably padded and with the tour agency title on it. Some of them even stated that to them what is paying Rm5k more....well, try saying that to the pakcik & makcik who saved their harvest money every season....and these are the people who have to walk 2-3km to reach the jumrahs...

Some just stick to their group, and seems to never bundled with others. I mix around quite a lot, with the Arabs, Afrikaans, Americans, Indians, Pakintanis, the Turks and all other nations. Still in touch with them till today. There was one south African that I really admire, multi millionaire but in Mecca/Medina, he mix with the poor Pakistanis and others, learn their ways in life share knowledge etc, I spent quite some times after prayers talking to brother Naaeim about Islam and life....he stated that Malaysian are much better off than the rest of the Muslims countyr becasue TH is there to look after the welfare of the pilgrims from Malaysia.

As I have stated upfront, I am not stereo-typing the "tour package" Hajj, this is case by case basis....but even being with the mua'sassah, I can confirm that there is a big room for improvement...but the mere fact the TH at times are using "kena banyak bersabar" as a "disclaimer clause", something needs to be done TH! The money our pligrims kept is like an amanah for TH to manage....

Well....at least we have been there AbeDib....let us pray for those who have all the money and yet use the lame excuse "Belum sampai seru" (which is really really wrong!) to make their move fast...we don't know when we'll breathe our last air...

Front page in Sunday Times: Deviations in Army projects. Amount RM 114millions!

How could this happened in a structured,rigid command and control administration like the Army?

May be I should offer my project management course to Mindef?

Sunday, June 08, 2003

According to my fellow partner, he said that project management is not as difficult as calculating the stress/strain analysis as what the engineers had to go through in their education process , but it a lot of work that need to be done. May I add, that project managers need to REALLY understand the concept of PM and the context/environment where the projects are being implemented.

Monday, June 02, 2003

To-day, I started another course for a group of professionals from a BIG consulting firm. I am monitoring the situation. Most of them are planning and design professionals. My team job is enable them with knowledge,skills and tools/techniques to better manage their projects.

It takes to tango..

Thursday, May 29, 2003

Phew! Just completed a PM Course on another batch of 24 professionals !
Thanks Allah swt that we did quite well from the response that we had. However, we must continue to listen and learn from my customers.Then only we will LEAD.

Sunday, May 25, 2003

My retired friend just sent me an email. He said he is going to hold a wedding for his daughter by end of this year,and he also registered to go for Haj and start a business. That is three projects in ojne year!!!

I will try to assist him.

Thursday, May 22, 2003

Yesterday, I passed through a road in Pahang. I was shocked to see the level of PM by the contractors in doing million ringgit projects.

Looking back to the number of projects given out by the government, Malaysian contractors who keep on getting jobs should have improved by now. Now I believed what my guru said that no matter how much works they do , they will never learn and will keep making mistakes all the time.


Saturday, May 17, 2003

Just came from a wedding function. We had to wait for 30 minutes due to shortage of foods. In Malaysia, it is almost impossible to estimate how many people will come to your family wedding. My cousin invited one thousand ,but he anticipated two thousand people will come but the two thousand also come with additional kids.

The only way is to get extra foods on stand by with with the cooks .

This is the most difficult part in scope management if we treat wedding as a project;-0

Wednesday, May 14, 2003

A contractor friend told me about his business philosophy-sub all work to ensure you lock in your profit. When I asked why he did not do thw weork himself and make extra profit, he told me his people will cheat him and he has lost money.

In Malaysia,many main contractors are just project managers.

Monday, May 12, 2003

To-day,I received an email from a friend who attended a course my partners have conducted for the past 8days. He valued it 10 times than what is being paid! That makes another day for me:-))

It reconfirmed my aspiration to be a teacher. But I must be warned:


Friday, May 09, 2003

How do I go about translating ideas into reality? One management consultant who turned himself into a writer has this to say:
Concentrate on the process of becoming a writer. and less on dreaming to be a writer. Personally, I love to write;in fact I write everyday in my blogs and in my special interests mailinglist with the hope one day day I could work on a book( any genre) and become a writer.
I think project management methodology is quite applicable in turning myself into a management consultant and later to be a writer;-)

When we talk about ideas, we must be able to articulate and to validate before we create a project. My friend Peter is helping me on this aspect. Thanks Peter.

Thursday, May 08, 2003

Now, I began to understand why teachers remain as teachers despite their low income and degrading respect by materialistic society. When we finished our second module to train JKR professionals , a few of them thanked us for opening their eyes to elevate them to the next level of knowledge,undertanding and competence in managing their projects. We even provoked them to re-examine their axioms, premises and assumptions to the brink of ridicules.

I feel grateful and proud( in all humility) to be part of a team that taught the elephants on how to dance. The earth is vibrating when the elephant starts to dance.The rest in ther 'animal' kingdom will follow soon.This is a joy that one gets for being a member of a team that makes a difference. Let's get M.A.D

Only crazy people creates the change. Normal people remains complacent in status quo forever.

Tuesday, May 06, 2003

Let me share with you what happened yesterday at the Project Management course for a govt. department.

One engineer confided in me that he now realised the importance of having the knowledge and tools to manage his projects.He was cynical all the way until yesterday.When his department wanted to make changes and comes with new format of reporting,he told a friend that he won't do it. But now, when he gets some knowledge and realised his folly, he is all the way to support our efforts to use proper project management knowledge! He also told me this is one course that he did not sleep;-)

I thought it was people ego's or arrogance that they belittle our efforts to do proper project management. Now, I also learned and realised that these people are just ignorant.

I think he is not the only one who has converted. I was so happy yesterday that I rewarded myself with a cafe latte at Gloria Jeans at KLCC-sitting alone surfing the Internet using wi-fi and smiling from ear to ear....It makes my day.

Saturday, May 03, 2003

Sam told me that he managed to conclude the objective of his IT project with a client. Thank God that he did it.Now, he can concentrate of WHAT the is going to do i.e scope planning!

I am glad to hear about it.

Friday, May 02, 2003

This week, my team went to Terengganu to give a talk on JKR new progress reports and its rational. About 100 persons attended the two days course-50% from JKR and the others from contractors and consultants. My observation indicated that only a few know PMBOK and also a few only who are really interested to learn. The majority is just being to learn to comply with JKR new requirement. It is their ignorance that failed to motivate them to learn to upgrade themselves to the next level of competence.

Saturday, April 26, 2003

To-day , I discussed PM basic concept with two of my disciples. The rest are 'busy' some where.
next topic will be on planning.

Thursday, April 24, 2003

Yesterday was the first time I gave a talk at a university. The talk was on Project Management.
Ons professor whispered to me that he doesnot know even half of what I am talking about!

Friday, April 11, 2003

I reminded my friends that many of us thought that change is a VO most of the time. VO means change in scope of work( not necessarilly so). Change is ANY change that affect scope,cost and time( and I add quality and risks).

Any change must be updated every month, but many assumed that once a plan is approved, everyone must abide by it all the way until end of contract.

Wednesday, April 09, 2003

To-day, I discovered that JKR can design projects at one -third of the cost done by the consultants! The questions lies:Can JKR deliver the goods on time?
By thye grace of Allah swt, my proposed business project will be financed via another project of a friend. This is NOT a coincidence- it is a help hand down from the heavens.

Tuesday, April 08, 2003

To-day, my partner and me discussed on a project. Now, we gathering data on the possible cost and solutions to our business proposal.

Monday, April 07, 2003

To-day I briefed my potential client on the use of web in various functions in project management.