Summiting%20Mt%20Kilimanjaro - Summiting Mt Kilimanjaro A...

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Summiting Mt Kilimanjaro - A Project Management Case Study By : Kerry Wills Article Source: Introduction Reaching almost twenty thousand feet high, Mount Kilimanjaro is the tallest point in Africa. In Swahili, Kilimanjaro is translated as the "Mountain of Greatness." In 2000, my brother and I decided to climb this great mountain. We spent months preparing including understanding what we would need to summit, designing our approach, getting the right equipment and training for endurance. We then spent one week executing the plan up the mountain. Since these are the same steps required in managing any project, I decided to write a case study on Project Management best practices in the context of planning and executing our journey up the mountain. Planning Like most big projects, we had an almost unattainable vision; to summit the tallest mountain in Africa. We had fixed resources (our own money) and a fixed timeline. Historically, 80% of people who try to summit this mountain fail for one reason or another. Interestingly, this is the same percentage that experts attribute to the success of any IT project. We had to plan for this correctly so that our goal could be achieved. Be Informed Our first step was to gather as much information as possible. We wanted to understand the history of other attempts, the associated risks, and anything else that might influence our project. Some of our discoveries include: * HAPE (High Altitude Pulmonary Edema) is a potentially fatal condition where fluid fills the lungs of a climber if they ascend to quickly * There are several ways to get to the top * They have a wet rainy season and a cold winter season * The terrain is uneven with parts that are very slippery because of scree (small rocks which slide under your feet as you try to climb up) * Since the summit is the highest point on the continent, there is nothing to block the winds which can get to forty below zero We would need to use this information to prepare ourselves for the journey. This relates directly to the initiation of a project where it is important to give the team insight into the history and potential risks from which a plan can be made.
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Hire the Experts Neither my brother nor I had ever hiked a mountain of this magnitude before so we sought the advice of people who had a proven record. We collected our short list of tour companies (vendors). Based on our vendor analysis (cost, track record, services offered, etc.) we came up with a partner. We selected a company that had a proven track record of success and who could organize and execute the details for us. The other option would have been to fly to Tanzania and figure it out ourselves which would have had an extremely low probability of success. This sounds like an easy decision, but too often companies attempt to jump into projects without expert advice and then make the mistakes that an expert would have already experienced ("those who do not learn from history. .."). For
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Summiting%20Mt%20Kilimanjaro - Summiting Mt Kilimanjaro A...

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