It’s possible to manage an impossible project.
When we say “nothing’s impossible,” we usually mean that given unlimited time, unlimited resources, and really flexible performance standards, we can do anything. “Give me a lever long enough and a platform to rest it on, and I will move the world,” said Archimedes, but he was obviously not a project manager. Our projects are constrained: the iron triangle of resources, time, and mandatory scope are only three of the dimensions that restrict our options.
In project management, the question is whether the project is operationally possible, able to be done within the envelope of our constraints. As project managers, we know the importance of realistic budgets, schedules, and performance criteria, but let’s face it — we don’t always get the final word. Sometimes we get what we get and have to make do…somehow. Worse, we don’t always know what we’re really going to need. You can’t always tell up front whether the project can actually be accomplished under the current circumstances. By the time we know, it may be too late.
Managing impossible projects is something every project manager faces sooner or later, and in this keynote you’ll learn how to:
- Spot “impossible” projects early
- Find creative solutions to many “impossible” problems
- Make the business case for change
- Kill the truly impossible ones before they get out of hand
Michael Dobson, PMP, is an internationally known project management consultant, author, and lecturer. He’s the author of 24 books on various aspects of project management, office politics, organizational dynamics, and personal growth. He is the author of Project: Impossible,Creative Project Management from McGraw-Hill, and six other books on project management. His book Practical Project Management has sold well over 60,000 copies, making him one of the best selling authors in the project management field. His novels Fox on the Rhine and MacArthur’s War were selections of the Military Book Club, and his simulation game AD&D Battlesystem won the H. G. Wells Award. He contributed the decision theory section for a NASA/USAF Academy encyclopedia of space systems engineering and operations.
As a project manager, Michael helped build the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum and led creative and marketing operations for one of the world’s most famous hobby game companies. He is the world’s only private owner of an Apollo spacesuit.
Michael has given well over 1,000 project management seminars on three continents, with a distinguished client list including Naval Reactors, Calvin Klein Cosmetics, Union Carbide, NASA, GSA, the Weather Channel, and Australian State Rail, along with numerous PMI-sponsored events.
He lives in Bethesda, Maryland, and is a member of the Montgomery County chapter of PMI.