Project Management – D-Day

IT project management has its challenges around methodology, what processes and framework to follow and how to mobilise the people and stakeholders to get the job done. Imagine for a second if someone came to you and said. I would like you to organise 153.000 people, 6,330 ships, 10,440 air-planes to perfectly align everyone within the hour at a certain point, and no one must know about it oh and by the way you can’t use a calculator, computer, excel, MS project – no no, you have to do it all by pen and paper. And to make matters worse if the planning isn’t up to scratch thousands of people and maybe even friends will die. That is the task the allied planners had to carry out in 1942-1944 in planning for D-Day invasion. Biggest seaborne invasion ever in history. Of course it wasn’t just 1 project manager but thousands of people working together sharing maps, studying weather patterns, geology, tides, analysing thousands of photographs every month so next time you are feeling down about your key activities in the project plan………. will that server be virtualised on time, will the cloud migration be on time and budget, don’t worry too much! Put the situation into perspective and be thankful thousands of young men and women sacrificed themselves with incredibly complex work challenges for our freedom 75 years later. Be ready for items you couldn’t have planned for e.g. as HMS Belfast was shelling the Normandy coastline all morning of June 6 1944 the designer of the porcelain toilet bowls had no idea that the vibration of the guns would end up cracking most of the toilets so even though this was a failure it didn’t stop the overall mission (project) being a success.