Thursday, June 17, 2010

Trust in the Gulf -- Boot on the Neck

Department of the Interior Secretary, Ken Salazar, made the following statement on CNN: "Our job basically is to keep the boot on the neck of British Petroleum to carry out the responsibilities they have..."

Salazar's remark has now been widely circulated. How do you think the Secretary's statement affects the level of trust between the administration and BP?

How would you react if your client or a user group spoke to you like that? What if your manager told you that he was going to put his boot on your neck until you fulfill your responsibilities? I wonder whether the administration considered what effect its violent tone would have on the trust of those involved in the solution. Perhaps the administration doesn't believe trust has a part to play in the success of this unfortunate project.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Project: Stop the Oil Leak

Leadership, Ownership, and Trust are extremely important in successful large IT projects. I concluded this after conducting some research a few years ago (see Sacred PM Practices). In the years since, I have looked around to see how these attributes play out on my own projects, and in the world.

America's eyes are focused on the Gulf of Mexico and the oil spill. The stopping of the leak and cleanup could be considered a project -- it is a temporary effort, there is a beginning, some objectives, and an end. Just for fun, let's call this project, Stop the Oil Leak. During the next few posts, I'd like to share some of my observations of this project, and hope that you will share your own.

On May 27th, President Obama declared, "I am responsible." This would seem to address the attibute, ownership. Once he admitted that, it was clear who is responsible for the success or failure of this project. As an aside, I think BP is the owner of this project, but that probably speaks more of my personal views of accountability, and less of project ownership.

Was this declaration a good move by the White House? Do you believe it relieved the executives and employees of BP? Who do you think owns this project?