Extreme project management

Life and death risks are part of the job for Project teams working in war zones, frozen wastelands and disaster areas

This article explores how project professionals maintain realistic expectations about what they can accomplish and understand the risks they face to successfully complete a project in extreme environments. In doing so, it describes the challenges faced by a project manager who oversees a portfolio of corrosion and repair projects at oil fields on Alaska's northern coast. To meet project expectations, pre-planning is a necessity because the temperatures often drop well below freezing, and there can be 25-mile-per hour (40 kilometer per hour) winds and blowing snow. In a war zone, the biggest challenges are the dilapidated infrastructure and meager resources available from the land. To combat these challenges, a communications officer on a UN peacekeeping mission gains a thorough understanding of the area, the people, the conflict, and the constraints of the environment. Furthermore, project m
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