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  • Project Management and Training

    A brief introduction... I'm a college student finishing up my education in Information Systems, and one of my final classes is on Project Management. After the first lecture, I can't help but correlate Project Management concepts with training for entering the NSW pipeline. I am not a TG by any means. I repeat am NOT a TG. This is just some insight from my personal experience training.

    "In 1995, Standish Group study (CHAOS Report) finds that 16.2% of IT projects are successful. 31% get cancelled before completing, costing $81 billion in U.S. alone. 2004, PWC study of 200 companies from 30 different countries found that over half of all projects fail."

    Only 16.2% of projects successful despite the highly educated, carefully selected individuals behind the planning and development process (sound familiar?). Where it gets interesting is why those projects fail:

    - Lack of qualified employees/professionals
    - No vision; Not many people can see where a company needs to be, and where it needs to go
    - Scope not defined and signed-off - working towards some kind of moving target
    - Requirements are not determined - don't know exactly what it is your client wants you to develop
    - Employees don't want the responsibility - employees don't want to have their laptop next to them all hours of the night, called in at any time of the day or night to make sure the project comes in on time
    - Low funding or no funding - cannot get the project off the ground, or can't keep it off the ground
    - Users are not involved in the process - they might go as far as sabotaging what you are trying to do
    - Lack of momentum - something stalls the project and makes it hard to get back on track

    Some of you may already be making some connections to your own experiences training, just as I did when that slide came up on the lecture. Here is how I personally connect these concepts to training for the NWS pipeline:

    Lack of qualified employees/professionals

    Do your work to get where you need to be to start. Practice the ASVAB even if you are generally smart, it can't hurt to over prepare. Get yourself active if you aren't already. Go to the gym, play a sport, start running and learning how to swim CSS. Take care of any medical paperwork to make sure you make it through MEPS. Get yourself in a good place to begin the training pipeline. Don't become part of the attrition before even making it to the very beginning.

    No vision; Not many people can see where a company needs to be, and where it needs to go

    Have a clear understanding of why exactly you want to enter NSW. Think deeply about it. If the reasons are shallow maybe reconsider.

    Scope not defined and signed-off - working towards some kind of moving target

    Once you've really made your decision, lock the keys and throw them away. If you're in college, don't hand around your resume. You're creating a sort of safety net whether you realize it or not. Don't start to think some other job in the military might suit you better because you maybe don't like running so much. Don't think of NSW one day and then Army SOF the next because you're not a huge fan of the water. Work on it.

    Requirements are not determined - don't know exactly what it is your client wants you to develop

    Know what's expected of you, or try your best to understand. Do your research before going in. Read books, physical training guides, sticky posts on the forum, nutrition guides, whatever you can get your hands on. Ingest as much as you can and then decide what to take from it because the information out there on this training pipeline is endless. Sometimes it can all be overwhelming (at least for myself), so take it in in small doses one day, and another read an entire book. There's no excuse to not be educating yourself right now.

  • #2
    Employees don't want the responsibility - employees don't want to have their laptop next to them all hours of the night, called in at any time of the day or night to make sure the project comes in on time

    Be responsible. Don't skip on your training. If you're in contact with some workout group or mentors, don't go MIA. It's worked this way with every job I've had, and I'm sure its no different in NSW, so better get used to it now.

    Low funding or no funding - cannot get the project off the ground, or can't keep it off the ground

    Get the gear you need for training and take care of it. Find a way to get the necessary equipment, there's really not much that you need to get ready for the PST (which is really all you should be focusing on). Find access to a pool and different locations for running. Get started training and don't stop.

    Users are not involved in the process - they might go as far as sabotaging what you are trying to do

    Your friends, classmates, coworkers, and people on the internet are NOT involved in what you are doing (I personally don't tell my family either but that might be an extreme). You don't need to tell anyone what you're training for and you probably shouldn't. They are not involved and you should not listen to them because they will probably just spread false information, tell you about how they saw a movie and also thought about trying to be apart of NSW, or ask why and disregard every answer you give while insisting it's all because of propaganda. I made the mistake of telling a few people what I wanted to do about 5 years ago. I've since learned a lot about computers and software and I've had some jobs in the field, so those few people now probably just think it was some crazy high school pipe dream. Needless to say I've since retreated back into the shadows, and I can say from personal experience that it's much better training this way.

    Lack of momentum - something stalls the project and makes it hard to get back on track

    This one speaks for itself if you ask me. If you get injured, it can be hard to get back to where you were both mentally and physically. If you take a day or two off training you might feel intimidated by that next looming long distance run. Take breaks when you need them but don't let it bring everything to a halt. Keep the engine going whether you feel like there's that momentum or not. If it stops then start it back up.

    That's all I had to say. I hope none of this gets taken the wrong way, I just thought I'd share some of the thoughts I had. At the very least, hopefully whoever reads this learned a thing or two about project management.

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