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Project Management and Current Events

By: Collin Quiring


Two interesting articles that I have recently read have me thinking about how the best plans by a Project Manager can be controlled by the unexpected reaction of stakeholders to live events – that have nothing to do with your project.  A Project Manager may be good at Risk Analysis but it is impossible to analyze the risk of a specific real-time event occurring during your project.   I am referring to events such as news or of general interest that are happening somewhere in the world.


My only point is that despite the best efforts of a Project Manager, current events can overtake the best plans – and you have to adjust to it!


For example, take the case of Air Canada, which experienced a flight delay due to a hockey game.

VANCOUVER (Reuters) – Canada’s largest airline has learned it sometimes has to take a back seat to the country’s biggest sporting passion, ice hockey, the head of Air Canada said on Tuesday.


The airline was forced to delay a flight from Vancouver during the 2010 Winter Olympic Games because passengers watching the end of gold medal final on airport televisions ignored repeated calls to board.


“We incurred a flight delay for a reason Air Canada had not yet encountered in over 72 years of existence,” chief executive Calin Rovinescu told a business gathering.


Or, from the city of Edmonton, Alberta, the water utility, comes this report:

The water utility in Edmonton, EPCOR, published the most incredible graph of water consumption last week. By now you’ve probably heard that up to 80% of Canadians were watching last Sunday’s gold medal Olympic hockey game. So I guess it stands to reason that they’d all go pee between periods.


But still—the degree to which the water consumption matches with the key breaks in the hockey game is stunning.





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