Friday, February 05, 2010

Failed Prj Manager @ home

This is what the renovation workers told us at home. Rather they did not "tell" me this, but "meant" it. I know both the statements do not mean anything unless explained.

We are having some renovation work going on at my home. This is the project. Now the details.

The bathroom is being fitted with geyser (replacing the erstwhile water boiler). along with the geyser comes the shower set. The bathroom is also enhanced with a sink and wall tiles. We also replaced the kitchen's cement(red oxide) flooring with vitrified tiles (the anti skid types). The kitchen shelves will have to go under wraps ie we will cover the portions below the slab\platform by wooden doors. We need to have the housing floor tiles polished and the entire ground floor painted.

Now that you have a fair assessment of the work...Take a guess on the estimated time to complete these tasks.
The contractor gave an estimate of 1 month. We are already 1 month into the work and we are just 50% done. Why the delay and what can be done?

The contractor is just an interface for sourcing the workers.
Rolewise, contractor is similar to HR dept. Team managers provide requirements of personal with the job description to HR. HR talk to the candidates through headhunters and provide offer letters. Team pays the candidates from their cost centers. If you are wondering why the team  does not partcipate in the selection process, I have an answer - The team(including manager) has no bloody knowledge\experience in this field. Right from kind of tiles to sinks to cement to whatever, it has to depend on opinions of others (including the most jumbled\confusing source of truth - INTERNET). If you think Managers are all powerful, then you have no damn idea about the power of HR (no pun here haha).

Looking into the work description, its clear that we need mason (to break the existing floor and wall plastering), electrician (for the geyser point), plumber (for the water points of sink and geyser), carpenter (for the wooden covering in kitchen) and the tile laying person. Pretty much everybody involved in a full fledged
house construction. This is the root cause for the delay.

To assemble everybody in a synchronous fashion is the biggest challenge. Why synchronous? Because the contractor told so. The painter can start his scrubing of walls in the bedrooms when carpenter is fitting the doors in kitchen and plumber is fitting sink in bathroom. But, "no" we have only one worker at a any point in time. So came the HR order. "Amen! Amen!" the confused Manager said.

The mason starts work, does it for a day and doesn't turn up the next day. "Sick leave boss". Hmm! There is no backup or replacement. He just can't be fired because its not humane (another of HR order). "Amen Amen". And its not just the mason who falls sick, its the plumber, the tile man, the carpenter everybody....Hale and healthy on day one and sick on say 2. So the team (including Manager) has only one thing to do. Wait, for the next working day!

And thus we are at 50% work done in 100% time. Hope to complete the prj in 200% time. But its only Hope! Remember that the last laugh is with HR.
Any project has 2 aspects - Quality and Budget. Clearly time budget management has been a failure. Quality seems to be good.
So I consider this as bad Prj Mgmt. Especially when the Prj team was the end customer!!

PS - Purposefully the monetary budget is hidden from you!


Gaveesh said...

Did Budget also increased? If not then time also can be "Adjusted" ;)

Lost in thoughts said...

Yes, yesterday realized that the monetary budget also is making hole in the pocket