What kind of plan would you suggest your peer put in place to prevent bad decisions in the future? Share the reasons for your suggestions.
1. For my Bad Decision topic, I have chosen to write about an experience that I had as a project manager when I had ZERO project management experience. I began working on a project that involved renovating approximately 40 homes for people with disabilities. The lead project manager was removed from the project, and I took over following his removal. The pace that had been established in the beginning phases of the project was so frantic and hectic that I was forced to bring the project to a complete stop for 2 weeks. Once I had a clear picture of what was taking place and the urgent issues that needed to be addressed, a took a unilateral approach and attempted to put out the fires that were in front of me as I could see them. However, this approach meant that projects that were already months behind schedule became even more of an issue, and I was moving labor and materials into places where they were not needed as much as they were in other places.
- This directive approach did not serve me very well as it only increased the overall stress of the project and made me even more frustrated as the days went on. I was even more stressed due to the fact that I was in danger of being let go from the project. It was difficult to avoid taking this approach, however, because the entire management structure of the housing organization had turned over which essentially meant that I was working for a new client. This left me being the only person with all of the information, so I could not rely on anyone else to help make decisions.
2. Context – I was tasked to be the supervisor of a oil spill from a train tanker car that was inside of a rail yard. In layman’s terms, there was a train that was driving through a rail yard and one of the tanker cars sprung a leak which put about 100 gallons of oil onto the tracks and the ground surrounding the area. There was also train tracks on both sides of the one that we were going to be working on. Our job was to excavate the affected soil and replace it with clean backfill dirt.
Decision-making style – Consultative testing
What went wrong – After putting my plan out there to the guys and receiving input back from them, I decided that we were going to shut down the track that we were going to be working on but keep all other tracks open. This meant that we were going to have to use smaller equipment that didn’t impede the other working tracks. This also meant that we were going to have to hand dig a large portion of the spill which was going to take a lot longer to do. We completed the job just fine and the customer was pleased with the quality of the job that we did, however, they were not very pleased that the job took so long. The labor cost was extremely high and we had to rent the equipment for longer than expected which increased the overall bill to the customer. In hindsight, we should have requested to shut down all of the tracks in that area so we could get larger equipment in there to dig the dirt out 10x faster than we did by hand. We could have gotten the job done in less than half the time and made the customer happy. I did admit fault to the customer and to my supervisor and we did take a different approach with similar jobs in the future.