Apple Maps debacle demonstrates the need for skilled project managers

Friday, July 26th, 2013 By Jack Nevison

This fall, Apple will release its latest operating system for iPhones and iPads: iOS7.

Many Apple fans are undoubtedly excited about the bevy of new features the update will bring, including a new control center, better multitasking and AirDrop, the program that allows all iOS users to easily share photos and documents. In addition, the design will receive a complete makeover, its first since the iPhone was launched in 2007.

But for some, a big question still remains. Will Maps be getting better?

Few who follow the tech world could forget the disaster that was the release of Apple Maps. Soon after announcing that Google Maps would no longer grace the home screens of iOS devices, Apple came out with its own app. It wasn't long before the customer complaints began pouring in.

Unfortunately for Apple, Maps suffered from being the newest entry in a market that was full of established and accomplished competitors. In other words, it was full of errors that no other map program had. Landmarks were inaccurately located. Some cities and streets were incorrectly named, while others had inexplicably vanished. The new map service was so scorned that a Tumblr blog was created to catalog its shortcomings.

Google eventually released a stand-alone Google Maps app that contained all of the features found in its Android version, leading some to claim that Apple ultimately won the battle, if not the war. But it's not easy to recover from a PR disaster that requires your CEO to issue a public apology and tout a competitor's service. Not when you have Apple's reputation.

Now that the company has a year to perfect its Maps app and to scrutinize the process that produced it, Apple should invest in some highly trained, well-qualified project managers. A well-managed Map app project would have identified those errors and fixed them before the program was released to the public.

New Leaf Project Management understands the value of a good project manager. That's why it offers the QPM™ series of games, which allows managers to hone their skills while earning PDUs to maintain their PMP certification.

"PMI," PMP," and "PMBOK" are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc. All rights reserved.

"QPM" is a registered mark of New Leaf Project Management. All rights reserved.

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