Thursday, November 20, 2008

Classic Project Management - Indian Wedding Muhurat

I was talking about Project Management to a senior friend of mine....He told me about the most striking analogy from a lecture that he once attended on Project Management.

The lecture goes to say that the best example of Project Management is the Indian Wedding Muhurath. [ pronounced as 'Mo' as in 'Move'[Mu] , 'Who' as in 'Whose'[Hu] ' , 'Ru' as in 'Rumble'[Ra] , 'th' as in 'thrive'[th].

I am sure you can 'google' the word, but to put it in simple words: Muhurath is the chosen moment when the bride and the groom get married. Different customs are followed to mark this celestial moment of matrimony. In traditional weddings, a number of elaborate rituals precede and succeed the 'Muhurath'.

The bride's parents and the groom's parents agree to get the wedding done on a specific date and time. For the guy and the girl, this event means 'Engagement' where they get formally engaged to be married on the set date. The wedding date is usually set three to six months after the engagement to take care of all the wedding preparations.

The 'Things to do' list in a typical Indian Wedding :

  • Shopping for the Bride's attire and a huge list of accessories
  • Shopping for the Groom's attire and usually minimal accessories
  • Making a list of guests for the wedding from the bride's party
  • Making a list of guests for the wedding from the groom's party
  • Arrange for invitations [ 3 in number: traditional invite for relatives, modern invite for friends and colleagues, an invite for the reception, if you have more money to spend, then many more invites]
  • Arrange for the Pandit ( Prohit - Priest ) who will take care of the ritualistic procedures
  • Send email invites to people spread all over the world
  • Reserve a wedding hall for the special day
  • Calculate the approximate number of attendees
  • Arrange for accommodation for the people who might need it
  • Arrange for stage decoration and the like
  • Shop for return gifts for the attendees
  • Ensure that all plans work out as per the charted outline
  • Take care of travel and commuting needs before, during and after the wedding
  • Maintain the list of phone numbers in case of follow-up needs...

Hey, the list doesn't seem to end anywhere here... So lets just conclude that so much and more gets done for a wedding Muhurath.

There is no formal Process, Design Document, Development, Testing, Integration, Documentation and Release Plans like we have in Software Development. Still, there are inherent unwritten rules that govern this Mega Project -Wedding Muhurath and its amazing to note that people work in absolute sync to get this Project done.

Lets think about it....
  • Everyone thinks of one goal : THE MUHURATH.
  • Right people are posted at the poles to take care of the proceeds.
  • Everybody agrees to disagree on something that will not work out.
  • People in the group seek advice whenever needed.
  • There is no 'try' in most of the situations.
There could be ( am sure there are ) many more aspects to it, but the best and the important ones that came to mind are these seemingly simple but very difficult points.

If the Project Management works this way, there will never be any hassle in getting any project out on the set timeline.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is an example of a perfect metaphor...Good One!

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