An Encounter with Project Management Practices

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go to the interview with the consular officer but, the thought process continued questions like whether the leads and lags were taken into account when the Activity Sequencing was planned kept popping in our minds?. Unfortunately we as humans do not have the luxury of using a pop-up blocker so the thoughts continued with questions like were the tasks in logical order and were the dependencies that existed among the activities determined?. Was a Network Diagram developed so on and so forth. Having been in the scorching sun and going through all the lines from 3:00 p.m we were thirsty and were trying to find a vending machine for coke or coffee, no surprises there were no vending machine in the embassy. We tried to remember the Chinese proverb "One moment of patience may ward off great disaster. One moment of impatience may ruin a whole life". We then walked into the next building for the interview and when we entered the building we were shocked to find at least 80-100 people waiting to be interviewed.

The fourth line was ready for us to join and we had to wait an additional hour and 30 minutes before we had our interview at that point of time we wondered if the constraints of the project team, the organizational structure, preferences of the project management team, and expected staff assignments were considered before the project moved to execution phase. Before we could come up with an answer we were called for the interview, the interview lasted for about 10 minutes and after the visa approval we were asked to join the last line to pay the last and final demand draft of Rupees 2200 to complete the process.

As we walked out of the embassy we were wondering was this a project a temporary endeavor undertaken to achieve a particular aim of interviewing and issuing visa or was this an ongoing operation repetitive in nature, either way it needed to be planned, executed and controlled properly. We were wondering who the stakeholders and the customers were if this were to be treated like a project. We took the liberty of assuming the embassy to be the stakeholder and the candidates who spent their time and money as customers. Over years we had learnt from our experience, PMBOK and other project management materials the need to define, organize, and plan the work in detail to achieve the end goal of any project which is customer satisfaction. The reality is never so tidy most of the negative or positive aspects of a project can never be anticipated in advance to be controlled efficiently. We then remembered the famous quote of James Baldwin "Not everything that is faced can be changed but nothing can be changed until it is faced".

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