Article - Are We Supposed To Negotiate On Projects?

"Operation Husky": Allied Forces and Don Calo

"Operation Husky", the Allied invasion of Sicily started on July 9th, 1943. It was a large-scale amphibious and airborne operation, followed by six weeks of land combat. The Anglo-Canadian forces landed on the east cost of the island and had a seemingly simple task in front of them. The resistance was known to be poorly equipped with weapons and ammunition; in some cases their positions were defended by captured Russian artillery that nobody could operate because the Italian army forgot to translate the operating manuals. And yet, despite all of the planning shortcomings, the Italians fought well and it took English and Canadian forces five weeks and thousands of casualties to reach their objective - the town of Messina.

arewesupposed1American troops, on the other hand, had a much tougher challenge: the occupation of the mountainous centre and western half of the island. Nevertheless, the American Seventh Army was able to reach the north coast of Sicily in only seven days and with hardly a shot fired. What allowed the US troops to accomplish "the fastest blitzkrieg in history", as General Patton once described this campaign?

According to some historians, the American government managed to strike a deal with the most powerful man on the island, the capo di tutti capi of the Sicilian mafia - Don Calogero Vizzini. The US Office of Strategic Services (OSS) - the wartime predecessor of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) - recruited Charles "Lucky" Luciano to act as an intermediary between the advancing US Army and "La Cosa Nostra". As a result of these negotiations the mafia protected the roads from snipers, arranged enthusiastic welcomes for the advancing troops, arewesupposed2encouraged mass desertions from the Italian army and provided guides through the confusing mountain terrain.

Video - Jamal Moustafaev - Project Portfolio Management Keynote at the Vancouver Board of Trade

In the modern business landscape where lean resources are the norm, are your teams optimized to deliver exceptional project results? This presentation will focus on the key question facing executives and project managers alike: "what does it take to deliver great projects and/or products?

Book - Delivering Exceptional Project Results: A Practical Guide to Project Selection, Scoping, Estimation and Management

My first book "Delivering Exceptional Project Results: A Practical Guide to Project Selection, Scoping, Estimation and Management" was released by J. Ross Publishing in September 2010!

Delivering Exceptional Project Results book

Brief Synopsis:

This unique how-to implementation guide unifies project management, portfolio management, and requirements engineering into one proven, comprehensive best practice framework to help organizations deliver exceptional project results on a consistent basis. Delivering Exceptional Project Results transcends differences in the various “types” of project management, such as traditional or agile, and focuses on economic principles, methodologies, skills, tools, and techniques that can be applied successfully at companies in any industry.

Article - Kick-Starting Your Projects; What You Should Know about Defining Scope

M 247 "Sergeant York" story

In late seventies the US Department of Defense (DOD) outsourced the development of the self-propelled anti-aircraft (AA) weapon which featured twin radar-directed 40 mm rapid-fire guns to Ford Aerospace. The project was assigned the name of ”Sergeant York”, after the World War I US army hero, who undoubtedly would not have appreciated this dubious honor had he been alive in 1979. The weapon was intended to replace the M163 Vulcan Air Defense System and fight alongside the M1 Abrams and M2 Bradley fighting vehicles in the U.S. Army, and was similar in concept to successful Soviet and European systems such as the ZSU-23-4 and Gepard

"Sergeant York"

In essence it was an air defense weapon mounted on the surplus M48 Patton tank chassis, provided by the Army, which were held in large quantities in their depots. The main job of the weapon was to sit on the front lines and automatically target and shoot down enemy aircraft, especially helicopters. As a result it was designed to hone in on metal parts rotating in the air (i.e. propeller blades).

The final test of the AA gun involved a demonstration involving a prototype weapon shooting down a hovering helicopter on one of the US DOD proving grounds somewhere in the desert in the southern part of the United States. The cost of the project at that time was approximately US $1 billion.

According to the legend cultivated in the aerospace and defense industries there was a portable toilet installed not far away from the testing grounds. Because of the hot climate, the toilet cabin had a small electric fan in it …

You probably managed to guess the rest – the billion dollar piece of equipment “decided” to ignore the much larger target – the helicopter – and targeted the unique signature of the “port-a-potty’s” electric fan!

Further tests revealed that the AA gun had the following deficiencies:

Article - Who Needs Walkthroughs, Inspections and Peer Reviews?

“Mutiny” On The High Seas
In 1707 a British fleet under the command of Sir Clowdisley Shovell was returning home after a long mission. The convoy encountered a heavy fog upon entering the English Channel. The admiral gathered his officers and navigators to get a definite fix on their location. After a short consultation the officers reported to Shovell that the fleet was safely off the coast of France. The admiral was about to issue an order to sail North to England when a sailor approached him and 
asked his permission to speak. 
The sailor told Sir Shovell that he was keeping track of their position by using his own navigational equipment. He also informed the admiral that the officers were badly mistaken and that the fleet was much closer to English shores than they anticipated. Therefore, according to the sailor it was very dangerous to proceed to England at full speed since they were in danger of wrecking on the Scilly Isles. 
Sir Shovell ordered the man …hanged as a mutineer. Hours later, his flagship and three other boats of his fleet smashed into the rocks. He was swept ashore where, according to one of the legends, he was murdered by a woman who wanted his emerald ring.
Clowdisley Shovell