The Bet – A story about project management & project procurement


By Ian Heptinstall 

Dubai, UAE


A chance conversation opens an experienced project manager’s eyes to the opportunity to make significant improvements, not just in his job, but also for the company he works for.  After 30 years in the industry, he discovers that the way he was taught to manage major projects flies in the face of day-day common sense.

George works as a project director for a major construction company.  However today is Saturday and he is in the pub to watch the cup final on the big screen.  15 minutes before kick-off he was chatting with Chris and Andy, brothers whose parents live round the corner from him.  As the bar filled up and became standing-room only, he told them how glad he was that he was an experienced project manager, and how this meant that even though he had a busy morning, he was still there in time to get a prime seat and relax over his pint.

“You reckon?” asked Chris, with a quizzical, but mischievous look.  “I bet that if you had managed your morning like most people manage construction projects you wouldn’t have got here yet.

“You cheeky sod!” he replied, “I’ll have you know that I haven’t brought a project in late in the past 18 years.

Andy chipped in.  “What I think Chris meant to say is that you wouldn’t plan to be here until half-time.  I’m sure you would make your plan”

At that moment the bar staff turned the volume up as the teams walked onto the pitch.

“If you can convince me of that, then I’ll pick up your bar bills for a year” shouted George above the rising volume.

A thumbs-up from both Andy and Chris meant the bet was on.  Andy mouthed that they would continue the discussion after the game.  Their attentions transferred to more important matters.


To read entire story (click here)

About the Author 

flag-uaeflag-ukian-heptinstallIan Heptinstall BEng, CEng, MCIPS 

Dubai, UAE


United Kingdom

Ian Heptinstall is an advisor consultant and trainer who helps organisations to get high performance and value from their supply base.  He is MD of PMMS Middle East, and Head of Learning & Development for the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply in the MENA region.  He is based in Dubai and works with clients internationally.  Before joining PMMS, Ian was Director of Supply Chain at a large UK construction company, and in his early career he managed projects in the chemicals industry.  Ian has two blogs – one on general procurement matters at www.pmms.me and another on his innovative approach to improved projects at www.profitableprojects.org