When Hugh was a graduate mechanical engineer, he decided to develop his project management career in a non-traditional way. Instead of working in mechanical design as a part of a project discipline, he took the opportunity to work as a project planning engineer. Instead of reviewing typical activity networks or bars diagrams, he used causal loop diagram to find the real sources of rework and lack of coordination in project team. So, Hugh was able to assess the impact of changes and risks on project goals in a more effective manner. Also, this project planning job allowed me to plan, control and coordinate project’s execution; while he was working with (and learning from) electrical, process, mechanical engineers in oil & gas engineering processes.
At that moment, his objective was to improve project and team performance, applying project management techniques. For example, he used to lead meetings to brainstorm alternative path to execute project activities quicker and with less resources. In other situations, he held special workshops with his team members and stakeholders to identify risks and make a response plan to reduce its negative impacts on cost, quality and time. In this situation, team members suggested the usual recommendations in our project environment. However, Hugh encouraged them to work more creatively to see projects as a system and deliver actions to improve this system as a whole. As a result, he was able to ignite the development of a solution for projects in trouble and more importantly, he was able to avoid additional problems or unintended consequences.
Few years later, Hugh was responsible to provide project services in a multi-project organization, he knew the current status of all projects in the program or portfolio, what should be the status in the future and the suggested actions to make that future possible. This was a successful approach to enhance project and program decisions and deliver value to this organization.
After more than 10 years in project environments, he have been lucky being the right hand of projects and program managers and learn from them since the beginning. This was an advantage for him because he has been able to understand and handle project manager’s situations, developing his own project manager’s competences.