How we studied project management in the mountains. Top # 2

After a successful spring project to organize and conduct a training expedition to the First Peak , we decided to continue. The story of the first peak here: . Read about the second peak in this article. The third we are just starting to cook. If you want to participate, contact us at the bottom of the article.

Kickoff meeting

Independence Day of Ukraine loomed on the horizon and these three days off I would like not only to swell, but to spend it with benefit and interest. In such a simple way we got the first limitation of the project - the term of the expedition itself and the duration of the preparation. The second limitation was remembered from the last expedition - we had a shortage of height on the first peak, so we had to choose the highest of 2.5 thousandths. Such a peak was the highest point in Bulgaria - Mount Musala (2925 m). The third restriction was invented by ourselves, guided exclusively by greed - you need to meet the $ 300 per person.

The start-up meeting began as competent project managers - from learning lessons from the experience of a past project. And although the memories were still fresh in memory, it was useful to read the recommendations:
  • If possible, reduce the time of preparation and conduct of the climb: This will reduce the likelihood of “losing" team members due to financial, social and health risks. A longer time interval is an increase in the likelihood of unforeseen external and internal factors from weather changes to legislation and mood in the team.
  • To collect money for the trip immediately after the status meeting in order to exclude the refusal to participate in the ascent due to “not foreseen financial expenses”.
  • Create a project page, you can google, it would be very convenient. Here you can put documents. This is very important in the virtual management of the project team.

We had so little time - just a month to organize an ascent in a foreign country, in which none of the participants had previously been. The page was created directly on Facebook , and the documents, like last time, were decided to be uploaded to Google Drive .

We took the documents on the first peak and quickly reissued them to the requirements of the new project - we received the Charter of the project , the Expedition Management Management Plan and the expedition's Communications Management Plan. All documents published for public access by our expeditions are constantly available at .

Then we focused on the expedition preparation schedule, the main stages of which were:
  1. Logistics development Kiev-Sofia-Kiev and buying tickets.
  2. Preparation of documents for visas and obtaining visas.
  3. Development of an Action Plan and expedition route.
  4. Acquisition of missing equipment and ammunition.

This time we decided not to use SmartSheet , but simply created a schedule file in MS Project Professional 2013 and published it for the workgroup on Google Drive . It turned out “cheap and cheerful”, but not very convenient. Therefore, SmartSheet still continues to hold a leading position in my personal rating of cloud software for managing small projects. This is not advertising, but a personal impression. Unfortunately, no one but ourselves sponsors our expeditions yet.


The sequence of preparation for the expedition was arranged according to the amount of expenses. Offhand it turned out that the road to Bulgaria and vice versa would “bite off” the most from the project budget. A little less, but also a sensitive piece - visas. The third part is the smallest - moving and housing in Bulgaria.

To begin with, we calculated the most optimal movement Kiev-Sofia-Kiev. Consideration included options:
  • A personal car is almost as expensive as an airplane (expensive gasoline abroad, tolls and transit fees). Plus, it was necessary to prepare cars for a lengthy quake.
  • Bus and train are inexpensive, but long. Running late. At the same time, the bus is also tiring - to shake for a day sitting in a chair.
  • As a result, the plane was
  • selected - WizzAir flights Zhuliany-Sofia and Sofia-Zhuliany. Very convenient, because from Zhulyan. Yes, and Sofia airport is located within the city.

True, there was one "ambush" - there were no return flights on August 26. Therefore, they took return tickets to the 27th, and this is already a working day. The plane arrives at 16:25. While customs and luggage - we do not even have time to get to the office at the end of the day. Therefore, we decided to dig into the depths of our time limit " meet 3 days ." Why did we set such a restriction? Because they wanted the expedition not to intersect with the main work. And if you make it so that we do not “skip” the work, but at the same time are in Bulgaria? How? Рабочий день в аэропорту Софии And it’s simple - to find a good Internet connection and a power outlet near the airport or at the Sofia airport itself. The benefit in the office is MS Lync , MS Exchange , and other gizmos for remote work. We can call the office in Ukraine, answer e-mails, arrange meetings ... But this makes our baggage heavier by the weight of laptops / tablets and chargers that you cannot throw in the camp without supervision and you have to drag along with you to Musala.

Round-trip flights cost $ 173.5 each. So we have $ 126.5 per person left from the budget . The next big expense is visas. And then the classic positive risk worked, which the last PMBOK began to call unambiguously - “opportunity”. As it turned out, I do not need a Bulgarian visa, because I have a Schengen cartoon. I made a request to the embassy and received this answer: " The Bulgarian Embassy draws attention to you, having a valid Schengen visa with multiple entry, a national visa of an EU member state or a residence permit in one of the Schengen countries, the applicant can stay in Bulgaria for up to 90 days within each 6-month period, without opening a visa to Bulgaria. The total number of days allowed to stay in the European Union from a visa is not calculated. "
The only difficulty is that insurance is still needed for those who only get a visa and those who have it. We were told that insurance is checked at the entrance to the country (which in the end turned out to be untrue). In order not to risk it, we quickly made the simplest travel insurance in Ingo Ukraine. To the question " It’s just tourism, or you’ll be doing something extreme, "answered" Just tourism . "The price of the issue is $ 5.4 per person. Total from the budget we have $ 121.1 per person. We
collected all the visa documents, but it turned out that the consulate does not accept a printout of a hotel reservation from . Here is the first Change Request ! Now you need to somehow get a copy of the reservation on the hotel letterhead. They corresponded and called up with the Bulgarians - but they are as obligatory as the Ukrainians ... I had to torment myself and spend the extra money. The Consulate of Bulgaria is only in Odessa and the documents had to be submitted in Kiev through the visa center . Therefore, the costs included € 35 of the consular fee for a visa, € 22 service fee for a visa cent, € 30 in advance for accommodation and € 9.51 for making a SWIFT payment to Bulgaria. Total: 96.51 € or 128.2 $.

After obtaining visas from the budget, we have $ 57 left per person. Bulgaria, of course, is not a very expensive country, but according to the calculations, transport costs in the country will be bitten off for another $ 31, therefore, it will remain for only 26$ резервных на каждого... Под завязку ! You don’t even have to drink wine ... And you also need to get to the top ...
In parallel with buying tickets and obtaining visas, we completed all the project management documents and created an Action Plan and a route . The document turned out so that you can send a literate ram on a trip and he will come back from there happy and with magnets. The document itself is HERE , and I will retreat lyrically:
This document is based on the “ Configuration Management Plan ”, but the template is from PMBOK has been completely redesigned to fit our industry and our project. Having made such significant changes to the document, we have followed the recommendations of the PMBOK . Quote: “ The main purpose of the PMBOK Guide is to highlight that part of the Project Management Body of Knowledge that is generally considered good practice. Good practice does not mean, however, that the knowledge described should always be applied in the same way to all projects; the organization and / or project management team independently determines the applicability of this knowledge to a particular project . ”
Что мы и сделали ! Now imagine that an engineer receives such a document (or rather, creates it himself) and performs his technical work on it. The sequence of actions has already been modeled to the smallest detail. The probability of not doing the job is minimal, and even if something goes wrong, the maturity of the engineer’s thoughts and ideas on doing the job is such that he quickly finds workarounds and will complete the task. If a person has modeled everything in his head, he has already foreseen most of the problems and figured out ways to solve them - all that remains is to put this into practice.

I have a good friend from Lviv. At school, in the classes of NVP they were divided into boys and girls. Boys were taught to shoot, march, disassemble-assemble an assault rifle, etc., and girls were taught sanitation. And she did not want to be a nurse, she wanted to shoot and disassemble, assemble the machine. She really wanted it so much that she remembered the posters from the NVP office and every night, going to bed, she “practiced” the AK-47 disassembly-assembly in her mind. And then the military order came the order "To send two boys and two girls to the city competitions from the school." The governor began frantically searching for girls who could at least somehow approach the machine gun. I found only one biathlete, and my friend volunteered herself. When the military instructor asked them to practice, the first time she gave the army standard “excellent” to the speed. НВП-шник охренел ! А дело то происходило в советские времена во Львове, и сами понимаете, слухи о том что у каждой третей гуцульской семьи где-то припрятан Шмайсер были не без основательны… Вот он осторожненько так узнаёт “Do you have a gun in your house? ». “ No, ” she answered, and told him how she did it.
Today she is a professional certified project manager. And in his spare time from idleness, he writes a Ph.D. thesis on project management.
It turned out to be a good parable about how it is useful to model future performance in your head. А мысль имеет свойство материализовываться !

Go-go-go decision

3 days prior to departure, they held a Go / No-Go Decision meeting. Conducted purely formally, since everything is ready. It remains only to conduct the expedition itself. Even jokingly called the meeting " Go-Go-Go Decision".

Since the project budget was running out, and the expedition itself had not yet begun, we decided to save money and purchased provisions in Ukraine. A classic set of tourists - suhpay, sneakers, canned goods.


If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans.
Folk wisdom

Any plan is like a suit of a smaller size. It is incredibly crowded and uncomfortable, and it always bursts at the seams. So with us - even the moment of collecting the backpack everything went according to plan, or rather not quite according to the pan ...
I remembered that it was impossible to transport a tourist can with gas in an airplane. Accordingly, it was necessary to deviate from the route, find a tourist shop in Sofia and buy gas. I had to use a temporary reserve for unforeseen circumstances, since the schedule of all transport to the foot of Mount Musala was prescribed from the landing of the plane until night.

But further - more. Departure was delayed for 10 minutes. Arrived 15 minutes later. Because of this, they missed the bus to the city, and the next half an hour later. While running for gas - the downpour began. Used it as an excuse to buy a 3G card. While we were waiting for the rain, we bought and set up a 3G card, we accumulated a total delay of 1 hour from the schedule. Because of this, they did not have time for the last minibus Samokov-Borovets. We went by taxi, and this is an overrun of 4 leva ($ 3) per person. Total from the budget we have left $ 23 / person.

A taxi driver tried to put us in a hotel at 20 lev / night. Telling us tales that there are no campsites in Borovets. I pulled out a printed Action Plan and showed him the address and phone. He dialed the number and reluctantly drove us to the campsite. The taxi driver’s help did not bring him additional income, and our budget did not decrease. План работал !

In Borovets there was a downpour with a thunderstorm. The tent was set up in the rain. We sat in it. They made a short “attack” at the nearest store and got a bottle of Bulgarian red. Cooked dinner right in the tent. Waited for the rain to end. We drank wine. When the rain stopped, already in the dark they went looking for where the lift to the Yastrebets mountain starts from. We checked the start time of the robots and the cost of lifting. Everything coincided to the second and stotinki . План работал !

We had breakfast early and went to storm the mountains. The climbing route to Musala is as follows:
  1. On the gondola to the mountain Yastrebets (2369m).
  2. Walking along the trail to the Musala hut.
  3. Further along the direction of Aleko peak to the lakes at an altitude of 2545 m.
  4. We pass the lakes and then strictly up to Musala (2926m).

As planned - at 12:00 we were on top. Цель проекта достигнута !
Мусала - вторая вершина управления проектами

And here we made the biggest and most frequent mistake of the project manager - we relaxed the rolls .

The return trip was planned as follows: Malka Musala (2902m) - Irechek (2852m) - Deno (2790m) - Shatrr (2495m) - further at Sladkat Voda, reaching the peaks of 2208m go left to the Sitnyakovo Express chair (1778m) and on it go down to Borovets (especially since we have a ticket for the ascent).

In the beginning, everything was fine. The trail is difficult, in some places almost steep, but with outstretched steel cables.
Отвесный спуск
So we cheerfully enough and quickly moved forward. Then the trail began to periodically disappear and appear again. After two hours, she disappeared completely. Moving along the landmarks, we wandered into such a thick juniper that we could no longer move further along the ridge. This is where 3G helped us, bought in the rain. Downloads Androzic , examined the map and our GPS-coordinates. The trail has long gone sharply left to the river. If we go further in a straight line, we will come out to a cliff. It will probably look beautiful from the cliff at Borovets, but how to go down from this cliff was not clear and we did not check this path. I did not want to return either. We still had two hours left before the ski lifts closed. Therefore, we chose only not the right decision is to go down stupidly down to the river through the thickets of juniper.

With each step down, the juniper got higher and reached a height of 2-3 meters. It was possible to move only stepping on the trunks of the lower trees and holding on to the branches of the upper ones. The main thing was not to fall down between the trees and not to go to the dead, dry juniper. If it fell down, then at first it hit painfully and twisted its arms, and then lost a lot of time squeezing between the branches of trees and climbing to the tops. If you go to the dry land, you will come across large and small branches, which the hard mountain wind turned into sharpened sabers and spears.

Time passed. The water is over. The trees were getting taller. Strength was becoming less. The group broke up, but the radio saved. From time to time we called each other and got together. Due to fatigue, we increasingly fell between the trees, because of which we spent even more energy ...
When we went down to the river, there was half an hour to stop the lift and we had two options:
  1. In half an hour, run 3 km with a climb of 600 meters.
  2. Two hours to go down along the river bed.

We chose the second. There was no strength to run. Undressed, washed in the river. I found juniper needles even in my underpants. And not just one or two, but a whole zhenya. Water scored in the same river. I wanted to drink so that no one was interested in unsanitary conditions.

After washing, having a rest, having a snack and without hurrying, we moved down to Borovets. We returned to the camp at 7 o’clock in the evening. After 10 hours, 25 km along the mountain trails and without them. We recorded the track: HERE .

They stupid all night, sat, talked. We went to bed early. And in the morning they advanced towards Sofia. Then everything was according to the Plan . If there were any deviations, then they were introduced consciously.

In the afternoon we walked around Sofia. In the evening, praised the Gods of Project Management - they drank wine, ate meat. Bulgaria is a very cheap country. “Praise” cost us $ 19 per person and we still have $ 4 left unspent on the project budget. Проектный менеджмент рулит !

The next day I wanted to check if the safety system would notice a tourist gas can packed in an iron shell of JetBoil ? Заметила !
For the second time in my life, I was escorted to the airport bins to seize gas cans.

And WizzAir, as always, was late. We arrived in Kiev with a lag of 1.5 hours.

Lessons of experience

Mountains are energy storage, and man is a transformer. If you go to the mountains, you need to be able to transform the energy that they give you. If you do not transform it, then you get no benefit.
Teacher. Life in the mountains

Gathered after the expedition and summed up the lessons of experience. The document itself is HERE , and the recommendations are:
  1. Upon departure from Zhulyan, they expected 1.5 hours in the terminal. We believe that you can come to check-in later, as there is no particular reason to be the first in the landing line.
  2. You should carefully consider the time when using low-cost airlines. Since the plane was delayed for an hour and a half on the way back from Sofia to Zhulyany.
  3. It is advisable to have small money with you. For example, it is difficult to pay with a taxi driver. We told him that we had practically no money (so that he would not “charge the price”), but when he had to pay it, somehow he didn’t take out 100 € from his pocket.
  4. When using public transport, it is desirable to form not only the timetable of the route of the transport, but also know the list of stops for better orientation.
  5. The Action Plan included the time to buy a 3G card, but did not take into account the fact that they spent about an hour setting up the gadget.
  6. Pay attention to accents in foreign names (peaks, hotels, places, etc.). They did not immediately understand that it was right MusalA, not Musal.
  7. Particular attention must be paid to the issue of navigation. Ideally, have a separate device.


We begin to prepare the third peak. The next peak will be increased not in height, but in breadth. We plan winter climbing either in the Carpathians or in the Crimea. In addition to studying the project management methodology, we want to practice climbing skills - to walk in tandem, use ice axes, walk in cats and snowshoes, climb rocks, etc.
If you want to participate, write to me at .
Group “7 peaks of PM” on Facebook:
Description of the idea on Training and practical program “Seven peaks of project management”

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