Thoughts - when is democracy the wrong decision making process

British government used a democratic process to name a $300 million research vessel. Results came in, guess what name won in a landslide...

Then the back-tracking, quarrels, finger pointing and negative press began.  Sad state, they meant well but did not do well.

In the end, the government has now cancelled the democratic process and assigned a name (using a process that is unknown and was not shared to the public).  Government released a story on what happened, using a deflective and smoothing strategy, and has since focused on moving forward and trying to sweep it under the carpet   lol.

It is a reminder about the power of social media - they get more votes then city elections!!!

It is also a reminder, you cannot take things on without having a project plan.  The plan has to take into consideration the process of planning, monitoring, execution and play out multiple scenarios based on risks.

A key thing they mis-understood was the decision process that was selected.

There is such a high variance and set of risks when going to such a large group. They could have selected a Consultive decision making process, as per definitions below:

Decision Making Process Tools:
1) Autocratic - one person makes the deicsion, take it or leave it
2) Consultive - get collective feedback from the group, however, then one person makes the deicsion based on taking into consideration the feedback that was provided by the stakeholders invited
3) Democratic - openly ask the group and majority rules
4) Consultive - must have 100% agreement by the entire group

They all have their strengths but also their weaknesses, leverage each one strategically.

A couple other links that touch on decision making process are below:

If you wanted to get more formalized, technical and systematic, below is a link that also has a ton of other good sub-links:

Thoughts - Is Justin Bieber Trying to become a PMP (lol)

Humour is an important and strategic tool in project management!  People need to be able to relate and laugh at themselves.

Level the playing field - feel like we are all on the same team and use anything we can to help get through tough times - find a way to smile and move forward.

A humour example.....

Could it be that Justin Bieber is reading the PMBOK and studying the profession of project management ??

Bieber's song "What Do You Mean" is politely asking a stakeholder that seems to change their mind frequently, possibly regarding changes to scope, schedule, budget, quality or a decision.....  we never do find out.  But we can easily relate how people often try to move forward in a project without firm clarity or prioritization and at times try to avoid hard decisions (which cause many secondary/tertiary risks and negative impacts to the project).

Check out his lyrics below, could be useful in your next meeting to help manage expecations, lol

What Do You Mean:
What do you mean?
When you nod your head yes, But you wanna say no
What do you mean?
When you don’t want me to move, But you tell me to go
What do you mean?
What do you mean?
Said we’re running out of time
What do you mean?
What do you mean?
Better make up your mind
What do you mean?
You’re so indecisive of what I’m saying, Trying to catch the beat, make up your heart, Don't know if you're happy, or complaining, Don’t want for us to end where do I start
First you wanna go to the left and you want to turn right...... etc.

A link to his 1st PM song is below (play it at your next PM meeting and if you can relate, then remember you are not alone  :)

After he released this song, I think he wanted to provide another one for PMs that bring news to project teams that is not well received (e.g. over budget, over time, etc).  

Lyrics to his 2nd PM song (Sorry) are below....

You gotta go and get angry at all of my honesty
You know I try but I don't do too well with apologies
I hope I don't run out of time. Could someone call a referee
Cause I just need one more shot at forgiveness
I know you know that I made those mistakes maybe once or twice
And by once or twice I mean maybe a couple of hundred times
So let me, let me redeem, redeem, myself
Cause I just need one more shot, second chances
Is it too late now to say sorry
Cause I'm missing more than just your Scope Statement
Is it too late now to say sorry
Yeah, I know that I let you down
Is it too late to say I'm sorry now
I'm sorry, sorry , sorry
Yeah, I know that I let you down
Is it too late to say I'm sorry now
I'll take every single piece of the blame if you want me to
But you know that there is no innocent one in this game for all of us
I'll go, I'll go and then you go, you go out and spill the truth
Can we both say the words and forget this

A Link to his 2nd PM Song is:

PMTip - If it works great - Do not stop thinking how it can be better!

Often if things are going well, or we win, or we achieve our goal/complete the project, we then go into "cruise mode".  

We lose our sense of creativity to try new approaches and even more common, we lose our desire to take risk (with risk comes failure, stress and often finger pointing so lets just do the same old thing as long as it works - don't touch/play with it).

After seeing a show about rock climbing, it reminded me how humans have some type of inner desire, to constantly grow.... it is an exciting aspect of our species. But we can always learn to be more comfortable with risk and innovation.

A famous rock climbing site is in the USA, called Nose of El Capitan (Yosemite National Park).

The site was considered one of the top challenges a climber could face.  Then, people started to set their focus on it and finally, someone set a new record:

1 - an assisted climb was completed in 45 days (this made the news and he became famous, he dominated the sport and stated how it had to be done)
then, years later,

2 - an assisted climb was completed in 1 day (how is this possible, people could not believe it, again, the climber became famous and legendary... obviously that record will not be broken)
then, years later,

3 - a free climb (no ropes/assistance) was completed in 1 day (now this is making people think differently about the sport, and what people used to think, how is that possible). Also, even more troublesome for some people to wrap their brain around it, is that the climber was a woman (Lynn Hill).
then, years later,

4 - a free climb was completed in 12 hours (wow, what next......)

I was amazed, so many stories are right there in front of us, constantly teaching us about continued growth, learning and advancement. Look at old problems from a new angle, things can always be better.

I had to read more about the sport and the stories and the history, since it is a fairly new sport.  It consisted of so many people that went into a new level of thinking, innovation and creativity will lead down paths that the previous project/person had not even considered - and could lead to earth shaking results.

Somehow, people find a way!   How do they find a way.......  after reading more about the climbers that broke the records, and continue to do so, a few things I believe they all had (tools that they posses to break into new levels of success):

- persistence 
- passion
- creativity 
- confidence
- collaboration
- discipline
- understanding the important link between physical body and mental mind
- non-judgemental and open

Lynn Hill
On May 9, 1989, she fell during a climb in Buoux, France; after forgetting to tie a safety rope, she fell 85 ft (25 m) into a tree, and was knocked unconscious, dislocated her elbow and broke her foot. She had been training hard for the World Cup and had to stop competing for a few months to recover; she was devastated to miss the first World Cup in the sport. This is where she could retire and live out her life.
However, only six weeks after her fall, she was back climbing.