PM Essence
Editor’s Note
SoumenDe Dear Friends,

Greetings from PMI Bangalore India Chapter!

 
Sample these conversations you hear very often in your work place. “The software has been tested and verified to be 100% defect free”. “Trust me, Mr X has a great Project Management expertise and is the right person to lead this project”. “We are confident that the event will perfectly run as per plan and we will not have any issues”. And you may have got surprised at times to see the things, what you finally saw did not synchronize with what you were told you are going to see.

You trusted the statement but probably didn't verify it. The concept of "trust but verify" sounds like an oxymoron. It comes from a rhyming Russian proverb, "doveryai no proveryai" and was popularized by US President Mr. Ronald Regan to verify the treaties with Russia during the Cold War era. If you have to verify then it isn't trusting? Rather do we say, "Trust and Confirm"? The headlight grabbing emission scandal in Volkswagen highlights this dichotomy. It is a public information now that the German automaker used a software trick to circumvent the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's emissions testing, putting hundreds of thousands of high-polluting diesel cars onto U.S. roads. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) emissions trusted the off road testing results conducted by them, and consumer trusted the test results. No one really verified adequately. Contemporary emissions-testing system assumes that automakers are honest and independently tests only 10 percent to 15 percent of new models and that too in a lab environment which is very different from the actual driving environment. It was the researchers at private labs in the United States and Germany that eventually nailed down the issue. So what are the lessons learned for Program Managers like us. We need to create transparency and oversight not only in our software development process but in all non-project related activities as well like expense reporting, project status reporting and financial reporting. The Internet of Things is coming. Many features would be driven by software now. While these will provide enormous flexibility to reconfigure things using the same physical device, that adds value, it will also provide an opportunity to misuse the trust and credibility provided by our customers. Light bulbs could fool regulators into appearing more energy efficient than they are. Temperature sensors could fool buyers into believing that food has been stored at safer temperatures, electronic voting machine can be programmed to undetectably switch votes to another candidate. We as leaders have a responsibility to earn and then retain the trust of our customers. Loyal Customer who trust our products and brand are the ones who helps us grow and sustain our business. So we need to make sure we keep our reputation intact. Warren Buffet could not have made this point more better “It takes twenty years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you'll do things differently”.

Happy Reading!

Thanks and Best Wishes,

Soumen De, PMP
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Editorial Board
Murali Santhanam, PMP
Namita Gupta, PMP, PMI-ACP
Rama K., PMP, PMI-ACP
Shikha Vaidh, PMP, PMI-ACP
Sujata Sahu, PMP