An Image – A Great Tool for Intelligent Disobedience

We received this story from an attendee at a recent keynote presentation we delivered on Real World Program management…sometimes a simple and common image can show decisions in a different light.

In an Executive Program Review today, I used clipart of a person walking around with a tin cup, collecting coins. Along with the image, I included words to the effect of “I was reviewing the surveillance videos last night, and found this image of the VP of Engineering outside the CFO’s office looking for the $190k in added cost for the project additions approved over the past 7 weeks.”

We do not have a great closed loop on budget adjustments, and I’m sure that now the whole executive staff will recall the $190k in approved budget changes when the VP of Engineering shows up with that cup in hand…

Sometimes management makes decisions in a vacuum, only when taken in the aggregate do we understand the implications to a program, and the organization as a whole. This was a very provocative and successful way to bring that to light, and make sure the appropriate action was taken to adjust the scope and budget successfully.