TSA Body Scanners

The following entry is a record in the “Catalogue of Catastrophe” – a list of failed or troubled projects from around the world. Organization: Transportation Security Administration Project type : Security system Project name : Unknown Date : August 2015 Cost : $160M Synopsis : Clearly security at major public venues is a top concern in the current global environment and airports are often at the leading edge of the fight. In the USA, the Transportation Security Administration (TS...
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Volkswagen

The following entry is a record in the “Catalogue of Catastrophe” – a list of failed or troubled projects from around the world. Organization: Volkswagen Group (VW) Project type : Vehicle emissions system Project name : Unknown Date : September 2015 Cost : Potential costs in the region of $18B Synopsis : Arguably one of the most expensive scandals in modern corporate history, the revelation that Volkswagen cheated government emission testing has shaken people's confidence in a onc...
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Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality

The following entry is a record in the “Catalogue of Catastrophe” – a list of failed or troubled projects from around the world. Organization: Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality (NMBMM) – South Africa Project type : Metro bus purchase Project name : Integrated Public Transport System (IPTS) Date : February 2015 Cost : R2 billion ZAR (approximately $130M USD) Synopsis : The purchase of 60 buses at a cost of R100 million (ZAR) has left the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan M...
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Los Angeles Unified School District

The following entry is a record in the “Catalogue of Catastrophe” – a list of failed or troubled projects from around the world. Los Angeles Unified School District - USA Project type : e-Enabled learning tools Project name : Instructional Technology Initiative Date : Apr 2015  Cost : $1.3B Synopsis : Bringing equal opportunity to students from all economic backgrounds is a noble and justifiable goal, but having a noble goal doesn't make a project any easier. The Los Angeles Unifie...
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Target Canada

The following entry is a record in the “Catalogue of Catastrophe” – a list of failed or troubled projects from around the world. Target - Canada Project type : Retail store opening Project name : Unknown Date : Jan 2015  Cost : In the region of $7B Synopsis : Drawn by lower prices, it is common for Canadian families to cross over into the USA to grab their shopping. One favourite destination has always been the US retailer known as "Target". Famous for their large red and white bul...
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Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services

The following entry is a record in the “Catalogue of Catastrophe” – a list of failed or troubled projects from around the world. Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services - Canada Project type : Welfare management system Project name : Social Assistance Management System (SAMS) Date : Mar 2015  Cost : $214M Synopsis : It's a narrative that journalists and popular opinion love to draw upon: government can't run projects. While such journalists are often overlooking the many ...
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I, We, You, Me – Observations on Team Dynamics

As with most Project Managers, I've worked directly with a lot of people and a lot of teams. As an instructor I've observed and coached even more. I've seen good teams and I've seen dysfunctional teams and over the years I've tried to understand what makes some teams work while others don't. Why do some teams gel so quickly while others never click? Why do some teams transcend individual efforts to perform as a whole, while others remain ineffectual? Why do some teams become lifelong friends and...
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Culture’s Cogs – Expectations

Synopsis: Expectations are the medium through which a culture propagates. Expectations can be set through words, use of benchmarks and through actions. This post is part 3 in the Cultures Cog's series of posts. Click here for - Part 1 If a culture is to propagate it needs a medium through which to flow. As suggested in the culture's cog diagram shown in part 1 of this series, expectations are a vehicle through which cultural norms are transferred from leader to team and peer to peer. In th...
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Culture’s Cogs – Imperatives

Synopsis: Imperatives are the core values of the management team and the foundation stones of corporate culture. To influence corporate culture, leaders need to bring clarity and consistency to their imperatives. This post is part 2 in the Cultures Cog’s series of posts. Click here for – Part 1 As a follow up to my discussion on the topic of "culture's cogs" I thought I would dive a bit deeper into each of the cogs. In this post I'll explore the issue of imperatives. As noted in my origina...
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Culture’s Cogs

Synopsis: Imperatives, expectations and feedback are the mechanisms through which management's desire for high performance are translated into a functioning corporate culture. Regular readers will know that I've been studying corporate cultures over recent months. My goal is to understand how corporate cultures come to be and what management teams can do to shape positive cultures (i.e. cultures that improve quality and productivity while simultaneously lifting employee engagement, morale and...
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