Project Management: Fire the Tailor and save money

Director: Director wants a shirt with two long sleeves and pocket to keep change. It should fit to all characters based on situation.

Producer: I am having only 100$ budget.

Company: Company told that it should follow ISO standards.

Production manager: Asked tailor to prepare plan and submit to stylist.

Stylist: Stylist told that, they have good idea how the shirt looks like. Also told they have standards for all shirts which are going to used by different parties based on time to time. They don’t have budget constraints and according to them final shirt can cost 300$ to get that shirt in desired fashion.

Producer: I have only 100$ budget but if we can do all as told by stylist with in that budget that will be great.

Stylist: Yes we can do it. It is easy to do. We already did this with prototype.
(In reality the prototype is not nearer to real one which needs to be produced.)

Production manager: Guys it is difficult to achieve. Let us start with Plan 1. Later we can add Plan 2 and Plan 3.

Tailor: Hello…here is the shirt as per Plan 1.

Stylist: Without my Plan 2 and Plan 3, it is not the shirt we want you guys to use.

Production manager: I will check with other producers to sponsor this shirt, So that they can also use this for their film. Asked Tailors to take the shirt through plan 2 and plan 3.

(There are three separate tailors who are specialized in stitching according to different plans 1, 2 and 3.)
Tailor: Hello…here is the final shirt which implemented Plan 1, Plan 2 and Plan 3.

Production manager: Hmm…It looks good…we got it what we need.

Stylist: Hmm…it looks great as we thought.

Producer 1 and Producer 2: Shirt looks great, you guys eat 400$ to produce this. This is too much and we are not happy. Still it is missing one more pocket. (This is not part of initial requirement.)

Question: Due to whose fault shirt rate went from 100$ to 400$?

Problems identified:
1. Prototype is not nearer to real one.
2. Stylists falsely convenience management that they can get shirt out with 100$. (If they tell upfront 300$ required, management wont agree.)
3. Instead of putting all plans together, executing three plans in three different time frames needs lot of rework hence hiked the final price.

Politics:
1. Director wants to save his face. So called for a meeting and asked production manager to identify the cost eaters. Production Manager opened his excel sheet and found that Tailors took too much time to stitch. (Everybody forgotten that they are directed to do so.). Management wants to manage themselves for upcoming projects quickly. They kicked the Tailors out and hired new Tailors who can stitch faster than their thoughts.

Poor Tailor back on road with his Scissors and Tape to find his next assignment.

-o-

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5 thoughts on “Project Management: Fire the Tailor and save money

  1. Quiite a relevant practical example. Happens all the time in Project Management. Well in all fairness, PM are not to be blamed for the layoffof the Tailor. In reality, its the middle tech team (in this case Stylists) who withheld the crucial info. PMs only took actions based on the feedback and what they saw. In the end, again they took actions based on the timesheet facts.

    So in essence, the Architects and the Technical Leads should take more onus on the success of a project. PM are there to steer the boat in the right direction, like the captain of a ship. Captain needs to sit in the top floor of a ship to see whats out there in the sea, so that he can guide the ship properly. But unless his crew leaders update him properly whether engine has any trouble or do they have enough fuel to reach a destination, Captain’s action will result in failure.

    Well myself being a PM for som many years, my response might be biased. But in effect if you look at it in all fairness, thats what is life. Better project management could be enforced only by self discipline by everyone on the team.

    Another smart way PMs have figured out to avoid these incorrect actions and failures, is by adopting SCRUM methods, where team size is small and deliverables can be seen more often than wait till the end. This way the TL, programmers and the tailors are well accountable for their actions.

    Well I guess its a smart way for a PM to put the ball in the tailors, TL and players court, rather than running with it all the time 🙂

    Always remember : Sucessfull projects make sucessfull PM and a sucessfull PM can always get new and better projects for the team. Thus its a win-win !!

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  2. Nice narration of the reality. as Denny said, the success of a project depends on everyone in the Team; afterall, software making is a team-effort. but, still as a Captain of the Ship PM has more and almost sole responsibility of in the outcome of the project. btw, I’m too a PM.

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