The Vanishing Visionary

The following entry is a part of the Pattern Library.  The Pattern Library illustrates some of the common patterns of events that have the potential to lead to project failure. Name : Vanishing Visionary (aka dump and run) In brief : A Project Sponsor conceptualizes and initiates a project, but fails to follow through to ensure successful delivery. They provide the vision, assign the project to a Project Manager (dump) and then wash their hands of any further responsibility for the pr...
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Desperate for Done

The following entry is a part of the Pattern Library. The Pattern Library records the common patterns of events that have the potential to lead to project failure. Name : Desperate for done Scope : Behavioral pattern (patterns that influence the actions of an individual or group) Outline : Tracking the status of tasks is a key responsibility for the Project Manager. As part of that responsibility, Project Managers interact with the team to monitor the completion of each individual ac...
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The Bean Counter’s Blind Spot

Lesson learned: Be careful what you measure and how you measure it. Category: Project objectives / Decision making. The following post is a “Lesson Learned” that comes from the analysis of the failed projects documented in the “Catalogue of Catastrophe” or from the experiences the editorial team have had working with clients around the world. The post is published here to spark discussion and help individuals and organizations think about what it takes to improve project success rates. I can...
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And now – A Message TO our Sponsors

The Sponsorship role is perhaps the most important in a project. The Sponsor owns the project and has a direct responsibility for ensuring that the desired business outcomes are achieved. In discussing project failures with people, one of the common complaints I hear is that the Sponsorship role is either non-existent or weak in their organizations. Ownership of projects is often unclear and no one really champions the project within the organization. Project Managers are left holding the baby a...
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Top Led Failure

The following entry is part of the Pattern Library. The Pattern Library records the common patterns of behaviours and events that have the potential to lead to project failure. Pattern name : Top Led Failure In brief : Strategic blunders by Senior Executives at the start of the project put the project on a course to disaster.  Because the flawed decisions were made at the most senior of levels, the problems is never corrected resulting in a project pursuing a path that will eventual...
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Quality Kaboom

The following entry is a part of the Pattern Library. The Pattern Library records the common patterns of events that have the potential to lead to project failure. Name : Quality Kaboom Type : Behavioral pattern (patterns that shape the sequence or flow of events) In brief : Quality activities are pushed to the end of the development cycle allowing hidden problems to grow in magnitude.  High levels of rework only become apparent late in the project cycle. Description : All projec...
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Alignment Failures

The following entry is a part of the Pattern Library. The Pattern Library records the common patterns of events that have the potential to lead to project failure. Pattern name : Alignment Failures  In brief : Different parties are focused on different goals resulting in conflicts and poorly alinged efforts Description : Although the need for a formal project goal is firmly established in the Project Management literature, in practice other forms of goals also influence a project's ...
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Navigational Failure

The following entry is a part of the Pattern Library. The Pattern Library records the common patterns of events that have the potential to lead to project failure. Pattern name : Navigational Failure In brief : Team lacks leadership and oversight in one or more dimensions resulting in errors and omissions. Description : Technology projects require decision making in three primary domains; the business domain, the technology domain and the organizational (or management) domain.  Wh...
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Green Shifting

The following entry is a part of the Pattern Library. The Pattern Library records the common patterns of events that have the potential to lead to project failure. Name : Green Shifting Type : Behavioral pattern (patterns that influence the actions or conduct of an individual or team) In brief : The tendency to report project status in positive terms despite growing indications that serious problems exist. Description : Green shifting refers to the suppression of bad news in proj...
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Silos

The following entry is a part of the Pattern Library. The Pattern Library records the common patterns of events that have the potential to lead to project failure. Name : Silos Type : Behavioral pattern (patterns that influence the actions of an individual or group) In brief : Organizational boundaries between groups and organizations prevent free flows of communications or collaboration. Outline : Many project teams are formed by resources from a number of different groups or organi...
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