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Archive for the ‘Project management’ Category

The best time of summer is about to start in 4 days: the 100th edition of the Tour de France (TdF)!  Time for an operations view behind the screens of the first and only Australian world-tour team: Orica GreenEdge.  As a starter, here’s just a beautiful example of visual project management:

This is the master spreadsheet which sits outside of the admin offices. It shows the schedule of every event, every staff member, every team vehicle. Susan Stewart (David McKenzie’s wife) is the Logistics Manager and obviously very handy with Excel.

This is the master spreadsheet which sits outside of the admin offices. It shows the schedule of every event, every staff member, every team vehicle. Susan Stewart (David McKenzie’s wife) is the Logistics Manager and obviously very handy with Excel.

Before getting into team management, consider team strategy: (more…)

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G4S has been appointed the Official Security Service Provider for London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.  In addition to much talk about social responsibility, the G4S website states:

We specialise in outsourced business processes and facilities in sectors where security and safety risks are considered a strategic threat, with expertise in the assessment and management of security and safety risks for buildings, infrastructure, materials, valuables and people.  G4S is the largest employer on the London Stock Exchange with over 657,000 employees.  We have operations in more than 125 countries.

G4S was contracted to provide 10,400 personnel but today Mr. Buckles, CEO of G4S, admitted in a grueling hearing at the British Parliament that G4S currently only had 4,200 security personnel at Olympic venues.   That’s right, only 40% of the promised service level!  And the shortfall is very unevenly distributed: only 30 out of a contracted 300 G4S personnel had arrived to provide security at the Olympic cycling event on Tuesday.  Moreover, the 51-year old Buckles also said that G4S “would provide a minimum 7,000” when the games begin.

A few comments on the operations strategy (outsourcing service ops and capacity planning) and management (execution): First on operations management: According to the New York Times,

Mr. Buckles said he learned of the looming crisis while he was on vacation in the United States on July 3, but the company informed the Olympic organizers only on July 11 that it could not meet its obligations.  He was forced to apologize, saying he was deeply sorry for the shortfall in security staff and blaming it on the failure of a scheduling system.

This is a failure of executive oversight of G4S’s highest profile project and a cheap blame.  Here we have a firm whose business is staffing and a project whose requirements were known years in advance and then blaming it on “a scheduling system?”  Your operations = Your firm.

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