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War Room in Maharashtra – Good example for effective project management

Maharashtra Chief Ministers Devendra Phadanvis has done masters in Project Management from Germany. He has adopted world class successful project management techniques ‘War Room’ for executing multiple infrastructure projects across Maharashtra. Following are important points from article in Economic Times Mumbai edition dated 23rd July 2018. (//economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/65098499.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst )

  • The war room is a place where the CM can sit and take instantaneous decisions on large infrastructure projects.
  • It has yielded handsome results – In one meeting, it reviewed 30 projects in a record-breaking two hours. Another milestone was the transfer of 93 land parcels in Mumbai in three months.
  • It worked on two pivots: articulate and focused conversation, and result-oriented tracking.
  • A sense of urgency and debottlenecking as an obsession are key elements of War Room
  • Files do not move from one department to another for months, creating ennui and inefficiency. The war room facilitates decisions, movement of files, and dialogue between departments
  • The preparation for the war room started in late 2014 and the first meeting took place in May 2015
  • War Room is managed by Kaustubh Dhavse, Officer on Special Duty to Chief Minister (CM), who is an engineer, MBA from SP Jain and has a degree in public policy from Harvard Kennedy School.
  • Dhavse works closely with Additional Chief Secretar, Praveen Pardeshi, to CM,. Together, they run the operations of the war room.
  • Every two months, CM meets in the war room.
  • CM uses his power to resolve cross departmentasl issues. Not surprisingly, many issues have a tendency to get resolved just before the next war room meeting.
  • Agenda items for the meeting with the CM are broken down into three columns: background, issue and onus.
  • The five men and two women fellowship interns sitting before Dhavse are all under 25, with an IIT or an equivalent degree under their belt.
  • Govt shortlisted projects primarily in IT, infrastructure, irrigation and road connectivity.
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Baseline Deviation

We have talked about 3 baselines – WBS for measuring scope changes,  budget for measuring cost variations and schedule for checking progress of planned activities.

Surprisingly nature has also gifted us baseline to monitor our health. Any healthy human being is supposed to have certain body temperature, heart beats, blood pressure and many more. Health is monitored by measuring these parameters. In case of deviation in the parameters we need treatment or meditation or exercise etc to bring it back to normal.

How to measure deviation in any Project with respect to baseline and what are remedies?

What is ICC?

Why is blood sugar above the desired level considered alarming? Because though it may not have immediate visible effect on our body, in the long term it can affect vital body parts such as our heart, kidneys, eyes, etc. and prove fatal if not controlled properly. The point here is about keeping our sugar under control i.e. within desired level through frequent follow ups, treatment or lifestyle changes so as to stay healthy.

Now let’s compare it with a project. Scope changes are part and parcel of any project. But frequent scope change means crossing agreed scope or agreed baseline. This is also known as scope creep. If it is not controlled, it can impact in the form of cost overrun or delay. But scope changes can be controlled through a process known as Integrated Change Control ICC. For better results in your project always ensure ICC.

Measuring Deviation

We have talked about 3 baselines – WBS for measuring scope changes,  budget for measuring cost variations and schedule for checking progress of planned activities.

Surprisingly nature has also gifted us baseline to monitor our health. Any healthy human being is supposed to have certain body temperature, heart beats, blood pressure and many more. Health is monitored by measuring these parameters. In case of deviation in the parameters we need treatment or meditation or exercise etc to bring it back to normal.

How to measure deviation in any Project with respect to baseline and what are remedies?

Schedules & Delays

For T20 World Cup many activities are being planned. Some activities are going simultaneously and some are dependent. E.g. Activities related to stadium such as pitch preparation, arrangement of food stall etc. will go on simultaneously. But flight booking, hotel booking, pick up arrangement should be done in certain sequence. Every activity should be done within the estimated time. Most important is relation of activities with calendar dates.

This web of dependent activities, time and manpower estimation against calendar is known as schedule. Schedule is considered as time baseline or yardstick. It works as a map for any project. Avoid any project without schedule to avoid delays

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