The news media is alive with stories about athletes canceling their participation in the Games, countries advising athletes to delay departure for India and in some cases canceling their participation altogether. There are several things that I find noteworthy about this situation:
- The stories are reported as news, not sports
- The stories span all media, print, radio, television, internet
- India has had 7 years to get ready for these games
The first 2 points speak to the profile of the Games in India. They have an extremely high profile. It seems that India is carrying the banner for countries that are considered less developed than the Western world. There may be some jealousy here since India doesn't seem to have suffered the same economic downturn as North America. India was hoping to excel at hosting these games and now that they've suffered this set-back, their reputation is badly tarnished.
There are 2 points I'd like to make here as a project manager. The first is that, no matter how long the project takes you can still overrun your schedule and the second is that no matter how minor you consider your project's defects to be, beauty is still in the eye of the beholder or stakeholder.
It probably isn't fair to lay the entire blame for the PR fiasco at the feet of the project management team; there seems to be ample evidence of wide spread corruption and government interference but the project management team must bear the lion's share of the blame. Not only has this fiasco set India's reputation as a forward looking industrious nation back, it has also set the profession of project management back. I would suggest that India is one country that should be seriously looking at formal training for their project managers. Certification as Project Management Professionals (PMP®) should be mandatory for any senior PM roles. They can start by ensuring that their are plenty of good PMP® Exam Preparation training courses available and then encourage their PMs to go get certified.