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EditorEditor's Note

 

Dear Friends,

Greetings!

Mumbai recorded 468 mm of rainfall in twelve hours, the highest in a day in August since 1997. Transport systems were unavailable through parts of the city as trains and roadways were shut. Power was cut-off from various parts of the city to prevent electrocution. Bangalore was not far behind and experienced a similar situation. It received 128.7 mm of rainfall on 14th August 2017, the highest in a day since 1890. It also wrecked massive havoc to the fragile infrastructure bringing the city to a virtual standstill.

pme Oct 201719.jpg

Are there any lessons that Project Management Professionals can learn from these not-so-natural events in Mumbai and Bangalore? Maybe there's a lesson in planning? Or was it the poor execution of a weak plan that took things downhill – quite literally? Or was it just coincidence and bad luck, maybe a bit of both? Ask politicians, and they will conveniently blame it on climate change.

Every year, whenever floods occur, we have seen the administration frantically deploying rescue teams, pumping water out, evacuating people to safe areas, repairing roads, bridges and public infrastructure to bring the city back to normal. Like clockwork, the following year, it is amusing to see the action replay of last year. Henry Ford had famously said. “If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got”. Sometimes, not even that.

It is one thing to respond to such events in a reactive face-saving manner and quite another to do things in a proactive manner to ensure that the impact is either avoided, transferred or mitigated. Can we take actions to prevent encroachment and illegal construction in flood-prone areas and indiscriminate destruction of green cover? Can we take action, on a war footing, to preserve urban ecosystems comprising marshlands, wetlands, lakes and rivers which could absorb the intensity of the floods. Can we devise a mechanism such that the flood is stored for use during non-monsoon seasons, both in terms of groundwater and surface storage? A more wishful thinking would be use the same water to create a water-wall that can prevent the water influx into critical areas(Ref:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-vd3I5HSz4s)

Identifying the threat or the challenge and finding ways to frame a response that solves the problem for the long term is what contemporary Project Management is all about. Real project success comes not from quickly executing the scope but by spending time to plan and identify the right scope. Only when Project Managers like us can identify and then execute such scope in a timebound manner, does it contribute to the cause in meaningful way.

And then we as Project Managers make timeless impact from those timebound projects.

Thanks and Best Wishes
Soumen De, PMP

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Happy Reading.

Editorial Team

Himadri S. Chowdhury, PMP

Namita Gupta, PMP, PMI-ACP

Nibu Thomas, PMP

Soumen De, PMP

Tanish Mathur, PMP, PMI-ACP

Vishwanath Thanalapatti, PMP

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