When Flood make Blood!

When Flood make Blood!

The importance of project management could not be limited to the private organizations to make more profit and be more prosperous. Project management is a common part of our everyday life. However, it could be obvious and more important in the public and government sector.

We learned that the project management go through critical phases: planning, scheduling, and controlling. Throughout each phase, there are many critical success factors CSF that should be viable in order to make the project objectives in place.

Whether, its private or public project I can see the following CSFs are a must

1. Top-down commitment.
2. Having time to plan.
3. Careful tracking and control.
4. Having a capable project manager, and
5. Good communications.

But we should not ignore the danger of the ethical decisions the project manager facing on a daily basis. I did not realize that most of governmental projects went through the project life cycle, or followed the basic level of the project management standards. I did not realize that they have any kind of project CSF or pure of ethical decisions.

I found an interesting article “Sewage scandal story can ‘shake Saudi’ http://www.thenational.ae/news/world/middle-east/sewage-scandal-story-can-shake-saudi#full  that prove and show how governmental project can lead to crisis. In his article, Mr. Wael Mahdi showed that the mismanagement of the sewage project system in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia was the main reason behind wiped out thousands of homes in Jeddah and killed at least 123 people in Jeddah floods in 2011.

Because of the delay in the project, the government lost hundreds of millions of Saudi riyals. The article as many others showed that there were abuse for the public money from the project manager who took the money allotted for the project and built himself palace in San Francisco and Jeddah equipped with a disco and a bowling alley. An Incomplete flood water drainage
and sewage system was the main cause for the disaster, arrest of more than 40 municipality officials and contractors.  The
following link is one video of many that showed the suffering of Jeddah’s people during the bad time. http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=D4GGQUcvHhQ&feature=endscreen

Last Wednesday, Two men have been jailed in one of the first convictions in a Saudi Arabian corruption crackdown started after deadly floods hit Jeddah in 2009 and 2011. “The defendants are convicted of the crime of bribery. Each will be jailed for five years, starting from their detention date, and will be fined $186,000,” http://www.constructionweekonline.com/article-17126-two-jailed-over-jeddah-floods-corruption/.

I can see that the lack for top-down commitment and lack of communication in addition to ethical decision in this critical project were the main reasons behind this catastrophe. Would you believe in the importance of CSF and ethical issues in project success?


Which software would you use in OM?

Which software would you use in OM?

We knew so far many software packages that can be used in operations management.
So far we learned Managing Projects. We know that Gantt charts used to schedule resources and allocate time. We learned that PERT and CPM techniques can help operations managers schedule, monitor, control, an crashing large and complex projects. We got know that PERT/CPM reports and charts are widely available today on personal computers. Some of the most popular programs are Primavera (by Primavera Systems Inc.), Mac Project (by Apple computer Corp.), Time Line (by Semantic Corp.) , and Microsoft Project (by Microsoft Corp.).

We learned Forecasting. We learned different kinds of forecasting approaches, qualitative and quantitative methods. We know that most operations managers turn to software packages such as Forecast Pro, SAP, AFS, SPSS, or Excel.
We learned Quality Management. we learned seven new concepts in quality management and seven different tools and statistical process control (SPC) and Control chart to control the product and service quality. We learned to use Excel to do the task.
I did realize that my company actually used many of these software packages.  Every department had their own desktop software, decentralized data , and no backup.  When we got certified from ISO 9001: 2008, we had revisited our plans and checked the operations with a complete set of documentation for all procedures, systems and activities. Why should we used different software from different vendors?
Why should we have different employee skills and different training? Why should we have different helpdesk and support? Why should we have decentralized database and different backup systems?

We tried to solve this discrepancies and we brainstormed the efficient way to integrate all departments data in one single server and using limited numbers of software from one vendor if possible.

In our case we have Oracle E-business suite, we found “Oracle Crystal Ball” the best software that can do all in one. Now, all the company departments are using Oracle Crystal Ball for Project Management, Forecasting, Projection, Quality control, Risk Analysis, Inventory Management, Loan Management … etc. This software is customizable, you can build your own model using data from the centralized database, integrated with any relational database. Crystal Ball is fully integrated with MS Excel, MS Project so you can download your data to your personal computer and doing your calculations if needed and re import back to the database.  I found the oracle website http://www.oracle.com/us/products/applications/crystalball/index.html that relate to what I present here. The link showed that Oracle offers classroom edition and With over 4,000 customers worldwide, including 85% of the Fortune 500, Crystal Ball is used by customers from a broad range of industries, such as aerospace, financial services, manufacturing, oil and gas, pharmaceutical and utilities.

By now we have one helpdesk. Would you use Oracle Crystal Ball or Excel? But remember that it is integrated to Excel. Would you recommend this software for your organization?