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The Perils

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February 24, 2014

Sun Tzu has an intriguing opinion about wars, when he says:

It is only one who is thoroughly acquainted with the evils of war that can thoroughly understand the profitable way of carrying it on.

It intrigues me as Sun Tzu, himself a teacher of the strategies of the war, he has spoken about the evils of the war.

Gone is the era when the world used to be dominated by the brute force of armies. We live in an era, where the world is conquered by seductive products and services.

ConfusedHowever, Sun Tzu, means that the introduction of new projects, products and services has certain inherent risks. A new product, with a great demand, may also fail for design problems, incorrect pricing strategies and positioning. The new products and services may suffer due to the skill-gap in the organization. The skill-gap may be due to the lack of building skills or it may be due to the fact that new products and services may need new or additional marketing strategies to push the product into the markets.

Therefore the skill assessment of the product must not only include the project development, it should also include the entire life cycle of the product management, including the launch, media relations and maintenance.

However, in case the we find ourselves, amidst a pet project or a death march project, addressing such a scenario using the skill-gap approach is not likely to help. In such a case, as the pressure to deliver mounts, the risk to delivery also increases, therefore, being articulative, persuasive and persistent about communication related to risks, mitigations, contingencies, alternative options may also help.

Moreover, it is here that a project manager must draw on the wisdom of his years of experience.

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