International Donor Agencies – Africa

Following entry is a record in the “Catalogue of Catastrophe” – a list of failed and troubled projects from around the world. International Donor Agencies – Africa Project type : Boreholes and wells (developing community water sources) Date : Jul 2016 Cost : $360M Synopsis : One of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) is to increase access to clean water and sanitation facilities for communities that currently lack such facilities. In many rural areas of sub Saharan Africa...
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Jacques Cartier Champlain Bridge Corporation

Following entry is a record in the “Catalogue of Catastrophe” – a list of failed and troubled projects from around the world. Jacques Cartier Champlain Bridge Corporation – Canada Project type : Highway overpass construction Date : Oct 2016 Cost : $11M CAD Synopsis : Taxpayers often feel that their hard earned dollars aren't being respected by the government officials charged with spending those dollars. In a story that feeds into that narrative, the city of Montreal has recently co...
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St Helena Airport

The following entry is a record in the “Catalogue of Catastrophe” – a list of failed or troubled projects from around the world. Organization: Department for International Development (DfID) - UK Project type : New airport Date : Jun 2016 Cost : £285 million Synopsis : Wind shear is one of the most deadly atmospheric conditions an aircraft can hit. A significant and rapid change in wind speed, or direction, over a very short distance, wind shear is especially dangerous when it happ...
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RIP Ideas

An organization’s future prosperity is of course directly correlated to its ability to remain relevant in the market place.  As we all know, to remain competitive organizations need to both innovate and invest. They need to stay in tune with their customers, be aware of shifting trends or disruptions and maintain a level of situational awareness that supports effective decision-making.  Most organizations are aware of those basics and CEO’s make efforts to stay on top of them. The “value” creati...
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Culture’s Cogs – Feedback

Synopsis: Feedback is the mechanism that keeps a culture alive...  This post is part 4 in the Cultures Cog’s series of posts. Click here for – Part 1 In the two prior parts of this blog series we looked at the role "imperatives" and "expectations" play in giving rise to a culture. In this final post we'll look at how feedback is the link that keeps a culture alive. Feedback is the interaction between people that tells them whether or not expectations are being achieved. Feedback can eit...
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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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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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