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Implement regular and frequent reviews at strategic points in the process to

ensure that performance is proper. Such reviews include:

Vendor Meetings, including

• Schedule Reviews

• Budget Reviews2

• Technical Interchange Meetings (TIMs)3

In-Process Reviews

Because you are only noting that something is wrong with this Cause Description,

you may need to refer to other Cause Descriptions to get to the actual

source of the problem. Table 4-15 on the following page will refer you to alternative

Cause Descriptions.


7a (NO) Each person is not competent to perform the tasks assigned.

What happened to the people we proposed to perform this job in the first

place? To win the job, the best people in the company are usually bid and their

resumes are placed in the proposal. Unfortunately, every other program wants

T a b l e 4 - 1 5 — M e e t i n g s a n d R e v i e w s

Review or Meeting Cause Description Appearance

Schedule Reviews 1f, 5e, 6d

Budget Reviews 1f, 5e

Design Reviews 11a, 51e, 52a, 53

Technical Interchange Meetings 1f, 5d, 5e, 6d

Subcontractor Meetings 5d, 5e

In-Process Reviews 5d

Customer Meetings 5d, 5e

these people too, and another project got there first! Some customers have recognized

this trait and insist that at least 80 percent of the people bid must be

assigned to the job. This is probably the number one problem with a large

company bidding and running many programs simultaneously using the matrix

management system.

This situation can usually be seen during the Planning Phase and can be used

to predict a problem in the future but how do you rectify this situation? There

are three ways.


First, the best way I know of to get the right people is to have the most

exciting project in the company. The right people will be clamoring to be a part

of it. Or you could be the best project manager in the company, and the right

people will come knocking at your door to be on your project. These are absolutely

the best ways to man a project. If either of these conditions is beyond

reality, show management how much will be lost if the right people are not

assigned to this project, and either get the right people assigned from the company

or hire the right people.

Second, training existing people is a good answer, but it is second best.

There’s certainly nothing wrong with training—it’s just the cost of training.

Someone has to pay for training in money or time or both. How is training

paid for in your company? Does the company pay for the training and the

trainer’s time and for the student’s time or does the program pay for any or all

or some of these? The answers to these questions will have a bearing on how

you proceed. Remember, even if the company pays for all the elements, you will

not have the people to perform program tasks while they are in training.

If your company uses the matrix form of personnel assignment, then you

must resolve the competency issue with the functional manager. The chances

are that the reason you have the person assigned is that you are getting what’s

left over. Refer back to Cause Description 7a and use the same techniques to

help you resolve this issue here. If your project personnel are assigned directly

as they are in a projectized organization, then the issue must be resolved with

the human resources department or your own people. Who interviewed this

person in the first place? These kinds of mistakes are often made and leave the

project and the company with people who are constantly being transferred

around rather than resolving the personnel issues. This issue really should have

been solved during the hiring process! If you have already hired this person or

if there are no other persons available from the function, training is the only

real alternative. To double up or offer unanticipated On the Job Training (OJT)

will likely drive your budget ‘‘off-scale-high.’’

Third, you could fire this person (if company policies allow such action) and

hire another person in his place. Just remember, the firing-hiring process in a

large company usually takes a long time and there are frequently legal issues

involved with firing a person in any size company.

7b (NO) Each person is not available when needed.

If each person is not available when needed, it means that you have lost

control of the personnel situation. Occasionally, this will happen when a flu

epidemic comes roaring through and you are caught in the middle of it. Technically,

that’s not necessarily lack of control, but you must nevertheless recover

the time and the work.

Some of your people may be on vacation or on leave. If you are aware of

that situation and have accommodated their absences, you have control. If you

are not aware that one or more of your people are on leave, you have lost

control. This situation occurs most often when the matrix form of management

is used and the individual coordinates absence with his or her functional supervisor

but you are not aware of the situation. This is bad news.


Establish an understanding with both the people assigned to your project

and with the functional managers that you must be a part of the coordination

loop before anyone takes off on vacation, leave, etc.

Occasionally, a person will encounter a sudden illness or bereavement.

There’s not much you can do about these situations except to try to cover them.

The best way to cover these situations is to look at each position when you are

not under pressure and consider what you will do if this person or that person

is absent for one, two, or three days or even weeks. In one case you may be able

to double up. In another case you may be able to defer the task of the person

missing. In another case you will need a temporary person to fill in. Consider

making up a matrix with the names along the side and the conditions across

the top. At the intersects, enter the action to take. This approach takes a lot of

trauma out of the situation when it occurs, but takes a lot of time on the front

end, and situations may change as the program progresses through design, implementation,

test, etc. This technique is worth its weight in gold when your

personnel are represented by a union and there is the possibility of a strike.

7c (NO) Salaries/wages are not equal to or less than those bid.

I don’t think I need to say too much about this event except to say it happens

all the time in the matrix form of management. One of the major reasons it

happens is that, once again, you get a different person than the one that was

bid, or the person that was bid gets a raise (that you didn’t know about) before

being assigned to your project. This person may be a senior person whom you

would love to have, but just can’t afford because his salary is over what was



There are several ways to approach this issue. First, you can change the mix

of personnel to accommodate this person or these persons. I recommend that

you pursue this avenue first, even if you want to get relief in other ways. This is

the first question the functional manager or management will ask you. Second,

you can approach the functional manager to assign someone else. After all, the

functional manager was the one who bid this labor rate in the proposal and

then gave you something else. Third, you can attempt to convince the functional

manager to subsidize the delta salary of the individual within the functional

manager’s overhead (care must be taken here, especially on government contracts,

which may not allow this action). Finally, you can request profit or cost

relief from management to the extent that this person or these persons are

impacting your budget. Don’t be surprised if you get turned down though.

7d (NO) Interpersonal conflicts do exist.

Interpersonal conflicts do exist when tension, personal problems, or downright

animosity is exhibited between members of the team.