Thursday, October 16, 2008

Today's ESD.36

Today's ESD.36, aka System Project management, is quite... useful. Two points really worth noting:

1. risk management: as mentioned by Prof. de Weck, as you become more and more senior, your role will evolve towards more and more risk management, such as technology, organizational, etc. See the chart below.
2. In the BAE Denver International Airport case, one category of risk, the organizational risk, was really highlighted. In the case, the chief engineer unfortunately died after the project started. This was painted as one of the key reason for the project's failure. The key lesson, in my view, is: whenever you have a star performer, it should raise a red flag to the project manager. The resignation of the star performer could be a devastating strike to the project. I guess this is a dilemma. On one hand, you always want a star performer. On the other hand, you also want there is someone ready to substitute the star performer. As Prof de Weck pointed out to me after class, a redundancy system should be built into the system for star performer role. This, of course, can be really difficult with real systems. In the BAE case, the city can argue that, unlike other public works project, DIA is a one time deal project, so they didn't have an existing redundancy system. BAE, in theory, should have cautioned this to the city...

(Source: ESD.36 System Project Management, Prof. Olivier L. de Weck, 2008)

1 comment:

Yoav said...

de Weck is 100% right. It just happens before you know it.