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Wednesday, December 14, 2005

President "Project Manager"

This article from Foreign Policy had me rolling on the floor laughing till the mucous got seriously out of control Presidential Detail (use
George W. Bush was supposed to be the CEO president, a big-picture guy who leaves the details to others. But more than two years after the invasion of Iraq, Bush is deep into the nitty-gritty.

George W. Bush’s series of five speeches on Iraq are crucial for the reconstruction effort in that strife-ridden country. Bush must persuade the public that real progress is being made if the siren calls for withdrawal are not to hurl the mission onto the rocks. His speech last week to the Council on Foreign Relations on Iraq was unusual—and persuasive. Rather than address yet another cheering military audience, Bush chose to speak before an audience of somnolent (and skeptical) Washington elders. More remarkable, he ditched his usual bombast for detail. Of course, Bush still delivered his standard line that “we can be confident of the outcome because we know that freedom has got the power to overcome terror and tyranny.” But he also included details on the reconstruction effort that have been noticeably absent from previous speeches. Speaking of Najaf and Mosul, Bush talked electricity, water, sewage, hospitals, and roads. He even boasted that in Najaf, Americans and Iraqis “reopen[ed] a soccer stadium, complete with new lights and fresh sod.” The “CEO president” now sounds like a project manager.(emphasis mine)

Project management is something I know about - it pays big bucks!

In short, it is about delivering a project on time and on budget. This means addressing and satisfying stakeholders concerns, managing expectations, implementing risk mangement, and timely communication to all parties concerned.

President Bush as Project Manager? Maybe this is an inside joke.

In theory, the concept of modern project management got started with the building of the Pentagon in WWII (that would be under a President who was a Democrat). In our current situation with the war in Iraq, 60% of the stakeholders think it's a mistake, expectations were dashed after "Mission Accomplished," anyone who pointed out the risks were either fired or demoted, and, finally, the communication is opening up?

The only thing I can see that Bush ever succesfully managed as a project is when he stuck firecracker up the butts of frogs and exploded them...