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Posts under ‘Causes of failure’

The Essential Question

When directly asked, most Project Managers recognise that the level of success their project teams are likely to achieve is directly correlated to the team’s ability to make effective decisions. If the team can consistently make good decisions, the chances of success are high. If they make bad decisions, the chances of success are greatly […]

Why Projects Fail – Modeling project behavior using Systems Dynamics

In a nutshell: A Project Management master class for those wanting to deepen their understanding of how projects work in the real world. Format: 1-day workshop Delayed, failed and cancelled projects cost organizations billions of dollars annually. Almost every organization experiences the pain of a troubled project at some point. The fallout in terms of cost, […]


Implementing a process improvement initiative within an organization is an activity fraught with difficulty. On paper it sounds easy. Define the new process, document it, publish it, do some training and voila. In practice, most organizations struggle with the “voila” stage. Of course the problem comes down to culture change. Culture change is the dark […]

Project Management Heresy

I’ve just finished reading a book about the Apollo missions that put man on the moon (Apollo by Charles Murray and Catherine Cox). The Apollo project was initiated by President John F. Kennedy in 1961 when he announced to the US Congress his believe that the United States “should commit itself to achieving the goal, […]

Befuddle, Bewilder and Baffle

In the Project Management world, it’s a refrain that is repeated in almost every training program offered around the world; communicate, communicate, communicate. Despite the fact that students of Project Management are told that as much as 80% of a Project Manager’s time is spent communicating, in most Project Management training courses, as little as […]

Structural and Strategic Planning

In theory projects are initiated by the creation and formal approval of a Project Charter. The Charter details the projects objectives, outlines the scope of the project and establishes the authority for the Project Manager to proceed. In practice few of the organizations I visit use a formal Project Charter and instead a hotchpotch of […]

The Incentives Infrastructure

One of the pillars of successful Project Management is the need for a project to have a clearly defined goal. Establishing a goal provides a basis for the project’s scope to be established, provides a way to measure success and provides a reference point for use when making project related decisions. There’s no doubt that […]

Fear of Commitment

One of the fundamentals taught in Project Management class is the need to define what the success of the project will look like. Only by establishing a picture of the desired end state are we able to establish project scope properly and make effective decisions about how to manage the project. In Project Management class […]

The Requirements Excuse

Studies into the failure of IT projects almost always make reference to poor requirements as a leading source of failure. Requirements are of course a vital part of any project. Without knowing what you’re building how can you build something of value? Although I agree that getting the requirements right is a central pillar of […]

Steering Clear of Shoddy

Although home renovation projects and IT projects may not appear to have much in common, there is one regard in which they are striking similar, both suffer from undesirably high failure rates. In Canada, TV personality and master contractor Mike Holmes draws attention to failed home renovations projects in his show “Holmes on Homes”. Each […]