Rio Olympics Offer Project Planning Lessons

Posted by Ryan Morrissey, Senior Manager, Solution Consulting, NetSuite

Did you watch the Rio Olympics? I did. I love sports. I also love a bit of controversy. And boy - this year's Olympics sure didn't disappoint!


First, we had the infamous green pool incident, which apparently was caused by some poor planning and bad execution. Next, we had the shortage of food at the McDonald's in the Olympic Village, where an item limit had to be imposed in order to keep up with insatiable appetites of our finely tuned athletes.

Every day I talk to clients who want us to help them choose Professional Services Automation (PSA) software, which will assist them in mitigating the risks they see in their project-based businesses. They deal with situations like:

  • Inaccurate or stale information being used for key decision making.
  • Lack of visibility into their upcoming resource demands and shortages.
  • Fear and doubt of schedule change impacts and budget overruns on corporate financials.

How does PSA software parallel with the controversy at the 2016 Summer Olympics?

If the pool maintenance tech had known that chlorine was already in the pool water, and if he had been given this information by his management team who was monitoring the chlorine levels, he probably wouldn't have poured 160 liters of hydrogen peroxide into the diving pool. Access to relevant, real-time information could have helped here.

Likewise, if McDonald's had run some forecasts on the impact 10,000 athletes would have when given free Big Macs and fries at the Olympic Village, they would have been able to better plan for food shortages and severely long queues.

In a sense, the Olympics in Rio are a great reminder of why PSA tools exist for project based businesses.

  • They provide a platform for sharing real-time information.
  • They allow forecast models to be developed and iterated to foresee constraints.
  • They provide insight into the financial impacts of risks and changes that effect the bottom line.

If you're a business professional who wants to talk about a project solution that can help you identify and forecast potential false starts in your business, let the torch bearers over at NetSuite introduce you to our PSA suite of products.

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