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Posts under ‘Causes of failure’

Push and Pull

Although I’m not a great fan of taking concepts from the manufacturing sector and bending them so they can be applied to the IT sector, the idea of “push” versus “pull” processes is one that is worth considering. The concept of push versus pull comes from the field of lean manufacturing and is used to […]

Rickety Retrospectives

In project management practice retrospectives are the feedback mechanism by which lessons learned are fed back into the organization’s collective body of knowledge. In principle it’s a good idea, in practice, the sad truth is that retrospectives often achieve very little. The acid test of an organization’s retrospective process is whether or not the lessons […]

Template Tunnel Vision

Most organizations have templates for creating project proposals, project plans and other project deliverables. There’s no doubt that templates are a useful starting point when creating documentation. They help ensure consistent presentation and in theory, prompt people into thinking through the different issues relating to the project. Unfortunately, in practice templates sometimes have the opposite […]

Disconnect Failures

Projects are about creating value but that simple fact often gets lost due to the emphasis we place on schedule and budget. Although schedule and budget are important, where they become a project’s primary focus we run the risk of triggering a “disconnect failure”. Disconnect failures occur when a project delivers its deliverables, but the […]

The Sink Side of Sink or Swim

Everyone understands that moving from being a “doer” of things to being a “leader” of things can be a difficult transition to make. What gets less attention are the transitions that occur as people move from leadership roles in smaller projects to similar roles in larger projects. A number of troubled projects I’ve recently reviewed […]

Dismissal, Denial and Disbelief – Wrapup

For earlier parts of this post read : Part 1 – Dismissal, Part 2 – Denial and Part 3 – Disbelief A key question for those leading technology projects is; how do we prevent the Senior Management team from falling into the “Dismissal, Denial and Disbelief” trap? Given the hierarchical structure in most organizations, that […]

Dismissal, Denial and Disbelief – part 3

For earlier parts of this post read : Part 1 – Dismissal, Part 2 – Denial The dismissal and denial processes create the illusion of progress, but unfortunately behind the illusion lies the cold reality that the project is deeply flawed. Failure to address the underlying issues allows the project`s errors and omissions to keep on […]

Dismissal, denial and disbelief – part 2

For part 1 of this post read “Dismissal” While dismissal is an easy way to bypass dissent at project start up, as work progresses physical manifestations of the underlying problems start to appear. Senior Managers who had dismissed the team’s original concerns often find themselves facing information that shows a worry trend. In a rational […]

Dismissal, denial and disbelief – part 1

Scott Ambler published an interesting survey in 2007 (Dr Dobbs survey). One of the questions asked people if they had ever participated in a project which they knew, right from the start, was going to fail. Of the 538 respondents, 70% answered yes. Even making some allowance for the inaccuracies inherent in any survey, that’s […]

Mind the Gap

The translation of an organizational need into a technical solution is a technology project’s core. That translation requires detailed knowledge of the organization’s operation environment (and their desired future state) to be married up with the technical skills from which the solution will be created. The size of the gap between those two pools of […]