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Recipe for completing public utility projects successfully!

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Governance

If one looks at BBMP, BMTC, BDA and the works they underatke each one tells a tale of how not to execute the projects in the right manner. Magic boxes, MMTC's, flyovers without service roads all are examples of our state/city bureacrats professionlism and talent. Looking at these projects one would wonder if at all we as Indians do know how to build things right. The instant answer would be a emphatic NO.

Don't get demoralized with my pessimistic way of painting the picture of our Babus and their work culture. There is a beacon of hope in the midst of unprofessional attitude of Babus, corrupt bosses and our selfish political Babus. The hope is Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI). Thanks should go to our learned Prime Minister for choosing the right person for the right job, i.e. Nandan Nilekani.

It is said, if there is a will there is a way. Mix that with skillful, talented and professionalism with proven track, the results can not be destined to failure. This is exactly how the Nandan Nilekani's team can be described in 2 lines. The team consists of very talented people from all walks of life from private enterprise to civil servants from GOI, Reserve Banks, Postal Department etc.

When the UIDAI completes its task of providing the unique identity to each one of us estimated to be 600 million, it would have created a world record of creating a largest data bank. In simple terms it would handle the task of checking whether the unique 12-digit UIDAI is indeed unique after comparing against 599,999,999 photographs, 1,199,999,998 irises and 12,999,999,990 fingerprints.

Forbes India is carrying a special column describing the team, their skill set, tasks and the diversity of work cultures backgrounds. For more read here http://business.in.com/article/big-bet/uidai-inside-the-worlds-largest-data-management-project/19632/0#ixzz16umNnkHi.

Here are some excerpts from it.

"...UIDAI’s headquarters is in Jeevan Bharati, a building, in Connaught Place, Delhi; that’s where all the policy decisions are taken. The technology backbone of the project is in Bangalore. The contrast between the two is dramatic.

The Delhi office is a traditional government setup. Officers sit in large rooms separated by plywood partitions. Nameplates on the doors display their designations. Peons and assistants move files between different officers and usher in visitors. Hand-towels protect chair upholstery. Conversations are largely in Hindi and work gets conducted in a polite, orderly way. People are addressed and referred to by their titles: “Chairman, I need your approval” or “DDG said…” for instance.

At the tech centre at Bangalore, the doors and partitions are gleaming glass. People rush around energetically. Even at 8 p.m. lights blaze, visitors stream in, and impromptu meetings are place in the corridors. English is the default language, everybody is on a first-name terms and the ambience is collegial..."

This project is slated to be completed by 2014. I am very hopeful that this project would be a grand success. more importantly it would lay new foundation for good governance, transparency and accountability in taking up large projects in reaching it to the last of the Indians.

As a project management professional with process engineering domain background, I am looking forward to the stimulus this project would provide to the hundreds of public utility projects. This project should serve as an example of utilizing the technology, processes to achieve the nationalistic objectives of providing public services to teh large masses. It should also serve as reference point for executing projects in public domain.

Hopefully, BMTC,BBMP and other government departments would get inspire by the UIDAI's success and more importantly how to execute the projects successfully.

 

 

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