Titanic’s Tragic Story Continues to Yield Lessons – Cheetah Learning Points Out How to Learn From Them

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One hundred years after its fatal maiden voyage, Titanic’s story remains compelling and its lessons profound. In recognition of its centennial, the Project Management Professionals (PMPs) at Cheetah Learning http://www.cheetahlearning.com/LinkTracker/track.asp?id=254 are offering a free download entitled “Lessons Learned,” a document designed to help project managers avoid a Titanic experience.

A century ago, Titanic sailed from Queenstown, Ireland, into infamy. Historians and engineers continue to study its untimely sinking. The Project Management Professionals (PMPs) at Cheetah Learning (http://www.CheetahLearning.com) are offering a download to help managers assess their own projects on an ongoing basis so they don’t endure an encounter of the Titanic kind.

A century ago, Titanic sailed from Queenstown, Ireland, into infamy. Historians and engineers continue to study its untimely sinking. The Project Management Professionals (PMPs) at Cheetah Learning (http://www.CheetahLearning.com) are offering a download to help managers assess their own projects on an ongoing basis so they don’t endure an encounter of the Titanic kind.

“Lessons Learned” is free and available at http://www.CheetahLearning.com/PMMC/download/index.htm. It’s listed under Cheetah Project Management’s “Free Project Management Tools” heading.

What sank Titanic? Every school kid knows the answer: An iceberg. But experts have determined that decisions made in the construction process and during the maiden voyage also played a role: Cost-saving measures, shortcuts and rushed schedules were part of the deadly recipe.

“We live in a world where we are often pressured to take shortcuts to save time and cut costs as much as possible,” warns Michelle LaBrosse, CEO and founder of Cheetah Learning. “However, if you're not a skilled and experienced project manager, the wrong shortcut could end up costing you a lot more.”

Titanic’s hull was made of "battleship quality" plates of steel, some as large as 36 feet long and 6 feet wide, weighing more than four tons. The ship, the largest afloat at the time, had a double-bottom and 16 watertight compartments. Three million rivets held it together; 55,000 horsepower made it move, at times more than 22 knots.

One observer noted that, “God himself could not sink this ship!”

Yet sink, it did, on April 15, 1912, and 1,514 perished.

What happened?

Big things, like ignoring seven iceberg warnings in order to stay on schedule

Small things, like using iron rivets (instead of steel) in parts of the hull to save money.

Middling things, like too few lifeboats: 64 were planned; just 20 were installed. The reason: Aesthetics. Some higher-ups thought 64 made the ship “less visually appealing.”

Then there was the execution:

Going 22 knots through a known ice field, Titanic did not adjust its speed to conditions.

Some rivets were installed by inexperienced workers, possibly as young as age 13.

Though capable of holding 65 people, some lifeboats were launched with fewer than a dozen passengers aboard

“How often is safety compromised every day because people are looking for the quick way out?” asks LaBrosse. “Even more important, as project managers, we have a responsibility to be the voice of reason that understands the hidden costs and dangers of the shortcut.”

LaBrosse’s passion for project management goes deep.

As a single mother of two, she founded Cheetah Learning and built it into a multi-million dollar powerhouse in the Project Management education field, a competitive arena with 1,600 providers who are registered with the Project Management Institute (PMI).

PMI named LaBrosse one of the 25 Most Influential Women in Project Management in the world. She is the author of “Cheetah Negotiations,” “Cheetah Project Management” and “Cheetah Know How,” which are available at http://www.cheetahlearning.com/LinkTracker/track.asp?id=255

In addition, PMI choose Cheetah Learning as Professional Development Provider of the Year in 2008 for the contribution it made with its accelerated approach to teaching and doing project management.

“When someone gets a PMP, they are showing they are willing to learn the global standards that are universally accepted as a standard set of processes, tools and techniques for doing projects, all projects,” LaBrosse said. “This means they are willing to learn the rules of the game.”

Cheetah Learning offers a wide variety of training opportunities to help project managers “learn the rules of the game,” whether they are first-timers launching their careers or seasoned professionals enhancing their abilities. For more information about these training opportunities, visit http://www.CheetahLearning.com or call toll free at (888) 659-2013. Outside the U.S., call (602) 220-1263.

ABOUT: Cheetah Learning is a Project Management Institute Registered Education Provider and is International Association of Continuing Education and Training Certified. Cheetah was awarded the Project Management Institute Professional Development Provider of the Year for 2008 for the significant contribution it made to the field of project management with its accelerated approach to teaching and doing project management.

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