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Coping With a “Death March” In
A Mid-Sized Project (Lessons Learned)
Rahul Shah, PMP
Edward Weltin, PMP, CSEP
Location and Cost
PM Tools is always free of charge, and registration is not required.
Every third Tuesday of each
month, at 5:30,
Immediately before the monthly chapter dinner.
LOCATIONSheraton Premiere at Tysons Corner 8661 Leesburg Pike, Vienna, VA
About the Program
This presentation concentrates on strategies that a manager of a mid-sized project may employ to mitigate effects of simultaneously constrained cost and schedule and over-optimistic scope. Our presentation does NOT attempt to fix blame or dwell on “what should have happened”, but more appropriately begins with the “death march” as a de-facto situation and deals with this reality.
We begin by defining terms and setting the stage with typical “signals” which suggest to a contractor project manager the evolution toward a “death march.” We move to a section that describes implications for mid-sized projects. Of particular interest is the third section, constituting the majority of the presentation, that describes in detail three categories of actionable “things that help” (and why) and several categories of “things that do not work” (and why). The presentation ends with an approach to defining and achieving success in the “death march” project.
About the Speakers
Rahul Shah, PMPProgram Manager, Northrop Grumman Corporation
Rahul Shah is currently a program manager at Northrop Grumman Corporation on a software development program that became a “death march.” Prior to this assignment, Mr. Shah served in various roles of increasing responsibility as technical lead, software engineer, and key contributor to several proposals. He specializes in project management and technical leadership of mission critical and highly visible software development programs.
Mr. Shah is passionate about achieving successful results for his customers, team, and company. In addition, he recently spoke at the Black Engineer of the Year Awards Conference and the Northrop Grumman Software Engineering Symposium on leadership, career development, and project management practices.
Prior to joining Northrop Grumman in 2002, Mr. Shah was a software engineer for the Institute for Defense Analysis and PricesAroundTheWorld.com.
Mr. Shah holds a Master of Science in Information Systems and a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, from George Mason University. He currently lives in Alexandria, Virginia with his wife Puja.
Edward Weltin, PMP, CSEPSenior Systems Engineer, Northrop Grumman Corporation
Edward Weltin has been the Chief Engineer and development lead since 2008 for a Northrop Grumman Information Systems software development project that had begun innocently enough in 2006, but quickly morphed into a “death march.” Prior to this assignment, Mr. Weltin as a PM, closed a successful software development project, and before that, as a PM, he started a successful project and managed it for several years.
Mr. Weltin’s experience spans 20+ years in the USAF (communications and IT) and another 25+ years on contracts with DoD, the IC, and others. His experience includes positions of doing the work and leading teams in doing the work.
Mr. Weltin has a BA in zoology (Pre-medicine), an MA in Management (Organizational Behavior) and an MS (Systems Engineering). He currently lives in Great Falls, Virginia with his wife Lucy.