It is trivial to any project manager or any one who knows project management that a project is defined in the PMBOK :
” A project is a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service or result”.
If we look at the rescue operation or process and we try to put it in the context of a project definition, we can easily find out that the rescue operation has crossed this definition way ahead. the rescue operation was temporary or even lasted less than everyone expected.
But did it create a unique product? No it did not.
Did it create a unique service? No it did not.
Did it create a unique result? No it did not.
No it did not create any of these three, it brought life to 33 human beings, it brought life to 33 human beings along with their families. it brought happiness along with tears to about 18 million Chileans. it inspired millions all over the world.
Analogous to all processes in project management we will find that the rescue operation contained all of the processes and it added a process that have been never thought of. It added the aspect of humanity in an unprecedented way. Shall we redefine the project as the temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service or result or inspire people. or shall we define as temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service or result or restore the life of humans, i do not know how to redefine it but it should be redefined.
I am not being emotional and i will tell you why. Before i started my study for the PMP exam i used to surf the internet to read what people think about the exam and what they think the positive outcomes of it. I came to the conclusion that most of people wanted this experience because it will change their life and the way they think about other thing. This rescue operation and i am dead sure have changed the life of lots people not necessarily those who were rescued, but also those who watched it on TV. it changed their thinking about their family relationship, about their work relationship.
Managing 33 people underground without any hope for survival was a miracle. i suggest that this is not a story to have films or movie about, rather it is more important to be a case study in risk management, Human resources management, human beings capacities. Sound case studies with logical results will enforce us to rewrite and reconsider medicine books, Psychological theorems and behavioral science.
As project management is vastly influenced by Human resources interaction (HR management), i think this part should be revised to add whatsoever outcomes from case studies related to this rescue and include it in that chapter. This can be a raw model we can use to stimulate our teams, if those who lived underground for 69 days with very scarce resource and at extreme conditions, why can’t we accomplish our activities and we are at very relaxed and normal conditions as planned. How did they manage their conflicts underground where depression, desperation and morale is too low? But we are unable to manage our minor conflicts and we tend to escalate them?