89 Not Out: Day 19, 9 Months? Try 9 Days

S&C contributor and Pompey Politics Podcast host Ian Morris shares his experience of self-isolation as someone with diabetes. It’s Day 19, and Ian celebrates a victory in lockdown – helping to set up a national help line for Visually Impaired People.

Friday 3rd April, Day 19 of 89 

Nine months? Try nine days. 

Thanks to those that asked where yesterday’s blog was; it’s the first weekday I have missed but things have been a little hectic. The world of project management is not universally acknowledged as a thrilling and lively place in which to work: some fail to see the joy in a beautifully crafted Gantt chart, others don’t understand the thrill of determining the difference between a risk and an issue, or the heady inter-dependency between time, cost and quality. 

I think this is because people have had the experience of being involved in a project that plods along. We meet, we review the actions, less than half are completed, Steve stares into the middle distance and says ‘No idea what that action was’, a debate breaks out and in the end no-one can actually remember, so we close the action, and agree to meet again in 2 weeks to review our non-progress. It’s not like this in all organisations but I am fairly sure we have all experienced something like this.

For the last week and a half I have enjoyed a different approach to project management, and it’s been a white-knuckle ride. It was a simple premise: set up a national helpline for Visually-Impaired People, their friends and families to provide information and support during the Covid-19 crisis. We had a project in the plan for a helpline starting in September and going live in June next year, but we didn’t have nine months. 

Instead, the team delivered it in nine days.

We started last Tuesday and it went live yesterday. I can’t share all the details with you, but I can tell you this was an incredible effort by a group of people who responded by ‘cancelling everything, this is the only show in town’. The things that usually get in the way of a large project, such as competing priorities, lack of resources, the micro-detail fettlers, the unsolicited ‘I wouldn’t do it like that’ opinion-givers, the sullen ‘But I don’t want to be on your project’ stallers: they were all swept aside as a focused and dedicated team of people pulled together to make stuff happen. 

These have been the most exciting nine days of my career, and I’m immensely proud of the people I work with.

I’m just a bit tired now 🙂 


Image by Jan Vašek from Pixabay.

Don’t miss Ian’s self-isolation diary in the coming days, keep an eye out for new pieces here, along with past editions of the Pompey Politics Podcast. How are you managing at the moment? Get in touch with us over on Facebook or Twitter and let us know your experiences and any hints and tips you’re finding helpful right now.


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