Oscar 2017 Fiasco – Key Lessons for Project Managers

Oscar 2017 Fiasco - Key Lessons for Project Managers - TaskQue Blog

Each year, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences hold the annual event of honoring the greatest achievements in the movie industry over the past year. And they make sure the event turns out to be spectacular by all aspects. But what really made the headlines at this year’s Oscars was one bizarre event which made the event memorable in not a good sense. The blunder of announcing the best picture for La La Land instead of the actual winner, Moonlight was a grave mistake.This makes the project managers seriously think about how to make the event free from such mistakes in the future. Let me give you some key lessons that we learned from this episode and what project managers need to do to avoid such mistakes in the future.

The Ultimate Goal

For a project manager or particularly an event manager, handling events such the Oscars, the ultimate goal is to create a spectacular show full of vibrant music and performances, above else, without any hiccup. As the show is telecast live across the globe, there is no margin for error. In this case, the show turned out to be a disappointment mainly because of two incidents which are discussed in the subsequent headings.

The role of the event manager is to ensure everything runs smoothly during the entire 3-4 hours of the show. This can be done through rigorous checks on the entire production crew, perfect resource and task allocation and using all his experience to deliver a flawless show.

Communication Gap

Source: Mashable official Twitter Handle

The lack of communication between the hosts announcing the best picture and the support staff who are in constant touch with the presenters via microphone was clearly missing here. The entry of the stage manager was delayed in the end and the damage was already done. The fact that the wrong envelope was handed to the presenter Mr. Warren Beatty and he told the other presenter Faye Dunaway to announce it, made the matters worse.

This is the worst nightmare for an event manager as for an award show of this magnitude, this mistake simply shouldn’t happen. A simple double-check of envelopes before handing it over to the presenters would have saved the organizers from such embarrassment. Constant progress assessment and feedback is also needed in situations like these to make certain mistakes like these never happen in the first place.

Expect the Unexpected

Source: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

The songs which are nominated for the Oscars are performed by the artists on stage live at the event. But the young 16 years old actress will remember her performance for rest of her life as she got hit by a prop in her head while performing the song from the animated movie, Moana. This could have resulted in another disaster but the young actress managed to complete the song without showing signs of discomfort or pain.

For such a huge awards ceremony, rehearsals are done many times exactly to avert such situations. But this wasn’t the case this year. The project manager, or the chief organizer, in this case can be singled out for not doing his job right as he was at the helm of the affairs. The songs and dance routine should be planned keeping in mind the stage settings, props used and musical equipment, just to name a few, so that to avert any unpleasing situation like this one.

Please don’t forget to share your views about the managerial lessons learned from the Oscar Awards 2017 in the comments section.