Decision-making and the Delhi Belly Project Manager

From an older PM Network magazine piece titled Step It Up: Don't just follow the leader -- become the leader:

Before they manage others, project managers must learn to manage themselves. Take, for example, the well-known fable of the crow and the rabbit. The rabbit asks the crow, "May I also sit and do nothing all day long?"

"Sure, why not?" answers the crow. The rabbit sits on the ground. Suddenly, a fox pounces and eats the rabbit. Lessons learned: If you're just going to sit, you better sit high up. If you're down where the action is, you better learn to watch out for yourself.

And that, my friends, is a classic introduction to a piece that serves as a reminder of the importance of managing time, cost, quality, and scope in any project. I am a marketer and technologist first and project manager second, but believe that the project management function is relevant to everyone in the social hierarchy -- from garbage collector to chief executive. What separates the good project managers from the not-so-good project managers is leadership, a big part of which is decision-making.

Now, let's apply this framework to a Bollywood film. Each a massive project in its own right, with countless touch points (e.g. musicians, make-up artists, costume designers, crew, marketers, audience, the list goes on and on) absolutely needs a strong lot of project managers to steer it to success. And one excellent project manager who is not afraid to make important decisions that are sometimes unpopular is none other than Aamir Khan -- an actor first, but a heck of a leader and based on his track record, I would say an effective decision-maker:

From this Economic Times piece:

Swedish director Robert Nylund, who was roped in to direct Aamir Khan's next production "Delhi Belly", is no more at the helm of affairs. The actor has hired ad filmmaker Abinay Deo...

Mr. Deo is most well known for filming commercials such as the ones for Pepsi (the Youngistan commercial starring Shah Rukh Khan, Ranbir Kapoor, and Deepika Padukone) and Cinthol (starring Hrithik Roshan). While both commercials (watch them at the bottom of this post) are good (the Pepsi commercial is far more popular, and I think for good reason), I find it interesting that this coincides with the news of the film now being in English and not Hindi, as was first reported.

Seems like we are going to get a very different kind of Aamir Khan film. What with a sex comedy in English, and it being likely that he will play a part in it, this will get exciting!

Speaking of Aamir Khan, a word on court proceedings regarding the alleged filming (and killing) of chinkaras in the first five minutes or so of Lagaan (2001). I am hardly an expert on litigation, and I shall reserve any comments on what really transpired. But don't you think that that scene served as an effort to raise awareness of an important issue?

Lastly, this piece, which discusses some prominent roles turned down by Aamir, Shah Rukh Khan, and Salman Khan, is not complete without noting that Ashutosh Gowariker had pitched the role of Bhuvan in Lagaan (2001) to Shah Rukh Khan, who turned down the offer (thank goodness for that!). This was discussed in the book The Spirit of Lagaan (read my book review in this post).





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