Customs and Border Protection

The following entry is a record in the “Catalogue of Catastrophe” – a list of failed or troubled projects from around the world. Department of Homeland Security – USA Project type : Staff recruitment Date : Apr 2019 Cost : $23M to hire 22 new staff Synopsis : In 2016, as part of the USA's renewed focus on border security, the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) was charged with increasing the number of border agents who secure the nation's points of entry. The goal was to ...
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Texas Child Support Enforcement System 2.0

The following entry is a record in the “Catalogue of Catastrophe” – a list of failed or troubled projects from around the world. State of Texas – USA Project name: T2 - Texas Child Support Enforcement System 2.0 Project type: Government policy implementation using IT Date: Apr 2019 Cost   $367.5 million Synopsis: At times failed projects do throw up some great quotes. Rep. Giovanni Capriglione of the Texas state senate has contributed to that legacy with this week’s quip about t...
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Boeing 737-MAX

The following entry is a record in the “Catalogue of Catastrophe” – a list of failed or troubled projects from around the world. Organization : Boeing Commercial Airplanes Project name : 737-MAX Project type : Commercial aircraft design Date : Apr 2019 Cost : 346 lives lost Synopsis : Designing and building today's commercial aircraft must be among the most complex projects in the modern age. The two leading players in the industry are America's Boeing Commercial Airplanes a...
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Fyre Festival

The following entry is a record in the “Catalogue of Catastrophe” – a list of failed or troubled projects from around the world. Project name : Fyre Festival Project type : Music festival Date : Apr 2017 Cost : Undeclared Synopsis : The execution of a large-scale music festival can be a complex Project Management challenge. The bigger the event, and the higher the expectations, the more challenging it becomes. Throw in a remote location, a lack of event planning experience, l...
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Spotting a leader

Synopsis -  Effective 'leaders' know what quality is and feel a sense of responsibility for achieving quality.  If a person waffles, waivers or avoids discussing quality, chances are they will not make an effective leader. It's pretty clear that project success rates are higher where projects have effective leadership and lower where there was either no leader, or where those in the leadership roles didn't discharge their duties effectively.  Effective leaders align people, focus people a...
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Teddy bear madness

Following entry is a record in the “Catalogue of Catastrophe” – a list of failed and troubled projects from around the world. Build-a-Bear Workshop – USA & Canada Project type : Sales promotion Date : Jul 2018 Cost : Undeclared repetitional damage Synopsis : It's easy to get caught up in the excitement of an idea and in doing so miss important issues that lie just below the surface. In a marketing campaign gone awry, US based 'Build-a-Bear Workshop' gained world-wide attentio...
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First time home buyers loan program

The following entry is a record in the “Catalogue of Catastrophe” – a list of failed or troubled projects from around the world. BC Provincial Government – Canada Project name : British Columbia Home Owner Mortgage and Equity Partnership program Project type : Government backed loan program to help first time buyers enter the real estate market Date : Cancelled Dec 2018 Cost : Unknown Synopsis : Between 2002 and 2017 residential property prices in the city of Vancouver, Canada w...
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A380 – Take two

The following entry is a record in the “Catalogue of Catastrophe” – a list of failed or troubled projects from around the world. Airbus SAS – France Project name : A380 Project type : Commercial aircraft development Date : Feb 2019 Cost : Undeclared, but certainly in the billions of dollars in lost opportunity and other costs. Synopsis : An old Danish proverb (sometimes incorrectly attributed to Yogi Berra) quips that "It is difficult to make predictions, especially about the fu...
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Agile’s Achilles heel

From its birth in the software development community, the idea of ‘agility’ has risen in prominence to the point where organizations of all shapes and forms are now leveraging agile principles (or at least trying to).  Since being conceptually formalized in the 2001 ‘agile manifesto’ the ideas have matured to the point where agile practices have worked their way into the mainstream of the Project Management Institute’s PMBoK® Guide. As I’ve written about a number of times, agile concepts are ...
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Pink Uniforms

Following entry is a record in the “Catalogue of Catastrophe” – a list of failed and troubled projects from around the world. US Department of Defense – USA Project type : Military aid Date : Jun 2017 Cost : $28M Synopsis : The United States spends a significant amount of aid money supporting the military of allied countries. With the aim of stabilizing nations and ensuring global security, money is poured into training, equipment and consulting services. A significant amount of t...
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