Saturday, 12 December 2009

A bad day in the life of a Project Manager

Well planning can be so important an element in the life of a project Manager.. they end up planning and risk managing everything.. everything. The profession takes up so much on them that they end up tying up everything with their profession. The more Alpha Manager you are the more this is imbibed in your life. Though planning and risk managing being an integral part of the life of a manager somethings like today can happen.. and we can it a Bad day.

For you to know today I had an expensive bad day. Here is the sequence of events for you to know... tell me where to improve ...

So first I let you see how I planned my travel below:

11th December : Pay the bill in the night so I dont have to struggle in morning
" Booked the cab at 4: (He can come by 4:15 , worst case 4:30, I still am 15 mins ahead of Bus)
12th December : wake up 3:00 AM (worst case 3:30 , i put a BB alarm and a wake up call)
" : Get ready 4:00 AM
Cab : 4:15 AM - worst case 4:30
Bus to LHR : 4:40 - 7:00 - 3 hrs in advance (worst case 6 AM bus reach there at 8:30)
Reach Frankfurt 12:20 by 9:50 flight , worst case 2 with a 11:30 flight.

And here is what happened...

1. I was supposed to travel from Cwmbran to Pune today morning... As planned I started at 3:30 AM in the morning, ready by 4 to catch a bus from the Newport station at 4:45 AM. The cab driver was asked to pick me up at 4:15.. He doesn't turn up until 4:20.

2. I make a call to the cab service as there is no one on the Hotel Reception in the early morning. Cab service says the Cab driver has started as expected, should be there anytime.. I wait till 4:30 , call again. Cab driver reaches 4:35... speeds me up the station, I see a few other passengers, also waiting to go to Heathrow. Bus doesnt arrive. Somebody tells me that the bus might have left. We all look at each others faces... 4 of us.

3. I call the National express to change the ticket... The support office doesn't respond. Then a lady picks up the phone on my 3rd call overall 11th call. We are asked to wait for the next bus at 6:00 AM I calculate 6 + 2:30 hrs Alrite I am still 1:30 hrs earlier on the airport. Bus comes, but the co-ordinator can only allow one extra passenger.. the oldest one takes the seat. We 3 decide to take the Train.

Result : 34 GBP wasted.

4. 6:40 AM Train to Padington(I am still 1 hr ahead on the airport as per paper), I buy a ticket to Paddington and subsequently heathrow 66 GBP. Train delays by 8 mins. Surprise , Surprise.. this train goes to Gliucester and other few stations before it reaches Paddington (Expected time 9:30 AM on Paddington). At Reading, announcement for further delay of 10 mins.. we get down take a Rail Air to heathrow, thinking it will take us there by 9:30 (30 mins ahead of my flight), Another collegue who was with me had already lost his connection.

Rail Air reaches Heathrow at 10:05 tks to Traffic

Result : Flight to Frankfurt off. 66 GBP wasted.
5. I walk the ticket desk, they give me an alternative at a cost of 188 GBP. A flight at 11:45 AM that will reach Frankfurt at 2:00 PM, 40 minutes ahead of my connection. I checkin the lugggage.. flight overfull. Ofcourse expect nothing much but delay. I arrive FRA at 3:00 PM.

Result : Flight to Pune off, Tickets had to be changed for the next day travel, 188 GBP wasted

6. I decide to wait on the airport, instead of sneaking into a hotel. Remembered my last experience when Heathrow was closed at 11: in the night and I had to wait on the airport all night to take an early morning 6' AM flight to Paris. I decide to take up and go to the Frankfurt city. I buy the Train tickets, call the Hotel get myself booked for 90 EURO night. Just before I step on the train I feel a shivering effect.. My winter jacket got left over at the Lufthansa Ticket Desk. I run back and search for it. Lady tells me that it is kept in the lost and found section.. I run to that section without knowing how to prove its my Jacket... lucky enough the nice person on the counter lets me take it back. Its 5 now and I am sitting in the Hotel. First thing my tired mind tells me to do is Blog this experience...

Now.. if you have seen the Actual Plan (Over Plan) and the Actual execution... you can call this my most expensive Bad day in life. I hope no one ever misses a connection