A manual describes how to detect and manage building projects hijacked by political agendas.
Based on their own considerable experience, the Osmans (Buildings, Projects, and Babies, 2017) have written a book specifically designed to help the managers of construction projects undermined by furtive political schemes. For example, an undertaking can be commandeered by a surreptitious plan to embezzle government resources for private gain or redirect them to fund illegal activity. The authors provide concrete guidance regarding how to spot such ulterior motives that can potentially destroy a project; for example, irrational anomalies in spending or hiring, an inexplicable indifference to quality, and a penchant for gratuitous delay on the part of the client might be signs of political skulduggery. The Osmans also counsel readers how to delicately manage such a predicament should it arise. The crux of their advice is that managers, whenever possible, should satisfy their project obligations and adapt to whatever challenges might be produced by clients’ unscrupulous intentions. The authors illustrate their lessons by fashioning fictionalized cases; for example, a massive project in Bolivia is hampered by a client’s late-in-the-game demand for a two-story penthouse, a request specifically aimed at slowing down development. The Osmans also persuasively argue that part of the problem is that project management is largely unregulated, bereft of the standard licensing requirements so common in other professions. They propose and describe a Federal Department of Project Investigation to devise and enforce standards and protect project managers from nefarious clients. The book is both clearly and cleverly written, crafted around an analogy between the primary players on a project and the team that delivers a baby (the project manager is the nurse and the father the client). The authors are veterans in the field, and their professional expertise is unquestionable. Unfortunately, an extended discussion of the superiority of border cities in the construction of border walls devolves into a thematically incongruent detour that should be the subject of its own monograph. Still, this remains a valuable reference guide.
An indispensable resource for project managers.