e-Discovery California: Don’t be EVIL, Los ANGELes…

MP900401409 Theory is usually easier than practice.  You project managers know exactly what I'm talking about.  Courses like the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) have value, but one item tends to be underestimated; the human element.  Projects always look great on paper but unfortunately, they're not executed by robots.  They're executed by people with varying talent, ambition, health and – dare I say it – competence levels.  Add to that the other human elements; management support or lack thereof, other duties of the team (distractions), unexpected emergencies ("Hey, I need to borrow Steve for a few hours…"), predictive miscalculations and – dare I say it, part II – the competence of the project manager.

With this in mind, it comes as no surprise that Google has missed a deadline to convert the City of Los Angeles email system to the cloud due to security concerns with the L.A.P.D.'s data.  Tha-a-a-a-a-t's gonna cost 'em.  Worse, they beat out Microsoft for the contract.

Ultimately, the issue will be resolved, but it begs the question – what happens when L.A. requests to retrieve data?  Another cautionary tale about 3rd-party vendors…

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2 thoughts on “e-Discovery California: Don’t be EVIL, Los ANGELes…”

  1. Love the headline, and the project management angle, Perry. The human element is often overlooked in not just project management, but in almost areas of professional practice other than, say, human resources.

    That said, what steps would you recommend a project manager take to control for the human element? Is there a standard deviation for incompetence?

    Random aside: “Begging the question” is a form of logical fallacy in which a statement or claim is assumed to be true without evidence other than the statement or claim itself.

  2. Sarah:

    If I spoke in standard deviation, I’d be applying the same robotic approach that I frown upon. There are always assumptions in any project, however, one of them should never be, “everything will go according to plan”. There has to be a reasonable accounting for ‘slippage’, based on an assessment of your particular circumstances.

    As for begging the question, I’m not so obvious. If you go the next step, the assumed answer to my premise of a 3rd-party request is, “They will deliver the data because they will deliver the data.”

    And if the vendor fails, you’ll be doing a different kind of begging…

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