In my previous post I was talking about fire breaks out and the way how we handle it. I think the most important part is, as well, the preparation for the fire and all the accidents which will come with it. Again, this is a big analogy for the project management.
The better you prepare, the better you’ll be able to handle any unexpected situation. And I can guarantee you, for all the projects we are managing; you will always have the fire drills and events that you can’t really predict. The way how we handle it is to make sure that we anticipate and try to look into the future. We try to imagine, if the fire will happen, what are we supposed to do and what to do to avoid it.
To give you an example – you have project which is supposed to start in four-weeks’ time and you begin realizing that the key users who are testing the application are not available for you. So what do you do? This is typical fire – you won’t be able to do the testing and to launch the commercial application in front of your customer, but you need to find the solution.
So what we proposed and what I used in my previous job is to try to do the Failure Mode and Effect Analysis (FMEA), which helps you to identify the most crazy behaviors and events that can happen, and try to build the hypothesis: how you will react and what you will do to prevent it. It’s pretty simple: you can just search on the block for the FMEA – I think the first time it was used was when NASA built the space shuttle during the conquer of the space by the Americans.
It’s very effective tool which helps to manage the fire a little bit better and, in fact, prepares you for the fire which will happen in the business.