The example of the coronavirus shows the importance of controlling deadlines

Two of the main causes of the coronavirus disaster

These are two basic constraints that have not been taken into account and the consequences of these two causes have not been linear but exponential.

  1. The masks had to be available and their resupply assured

In project management we know that the delay of a task is independent of its cost.

The delay of a task of a few euros will cause the same consequences as an equipment of 1000 euros or more. (See the three sketches below)

VS'is the case of masks with regard to resuscitation cells.

  1. The lack of forecast

The coronavirus did not wait to intervene for safety equipment, including masks, to be put in place.

In effect :

  • during a transaction and in the course of everyday life, if a delay occurs, this will have the effect of delaying its delivery by the same amount or even increasing its cost,
  • but in the case of an "unforeseeable health risk" process, it is nature that imposes itself: society must adapt and immediately implement measures to limit and avoid this risk.

The coronavirus did not wait to intervene until the masks were available.

Attribute responsibility to whom?

These were very divided between all the project managers and their councils; and this for many years; but also with other informed actors who had completed higher education or project management. The latter should have come forward to avoid this catastrophe.

The persons in charge concerned are thus very numerous and for several years, it follows that the search for the culprits will not bring anything good, quite the contrary.

The resulting lessons

This is due to ignorance and failure to take into account the importance of the notion of deadline in the organization of the realization of all project actions, from very large projects, to the “unpredictable health risk” processes.

In France, it is the control of deadlines that is not taken into account as it should be.

For this, this blog will be devoted to the control of deadlines. Articles will be posted. They will fit into the list of topics that will be discussed. For some, we will be able to access more complementary developments. The purpose of this blog is to make it easier for different users to access deadlines and even to demystify project management.

This small example shows that the consequences of the delays of the tasks of a project are independent: of their duration, of their cost, of the resources to be implemented to carry them out.

A 5-day lag due to the delay in the supply of masks will have the same consequences, in the progress of the schedule, as the 5-day lag due to the delay in the intervention of the resuscitation unit.

The shift of the "Appro masks" task by 5 days leads to the same shift of 5 days for the End of processing task on 03/29/21

For the same lag of the Resuscitation task of 5 days, we will also have the same lag of 5 days for the End of treatment task on 03/29/21

At the forecast level of an unpredictable risk process  

Note on the forecast

The proverb " To govern is to foresee highlights the importance of lead time forecasting

But planning is deciding what action to take: what to do, by whom, how, and when.

To do this, the importance of this action and these constraints must be taken into account.

An analysis of the forecast which must, starting from the objectives to be achieved, take into account all the tasks to be carried out, the constraints and foreseeable risk.

During a discussion on a given action, the visualization of its development is essential and even it will participate in the decision.

Example: It can be tasks 2 and 3 which will be the tasks on which the discussions will focus, but in the case where the end of task 6 is one of its priorities; it will be necessary to take into account the duration of task 4.

For this it is essential to visualize the progress of the actions to estimate the time of its progress.

But at the forecasting level of an "unpredictable risk" management process in the field of health

Forecasting is imperative. absolute it is not comparable with the management of major projects. (of the acts of the company)

Indeed, we do not know the beginning, nor the end, nor the importance of the risk. We must constantly take into account its evolution. In addition, one must take into account the limited resources to be implemented. It can take place on several sites on dates where the intensity of the level of risk will be different.

It is nature that imposes these constraints, it is up to society to protect itself, to act as soon as possible because any delays will amplify the human and financial consequences.

See footnote: A possible organization for an “unpredictable risk” management process in the field of health.

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