Project Health Checks and Audits

Sunday, 28 March 2010 00:00

Is Process The Problem?

Check list picture

For years, project failure rates have been ridiculous. Various groups have published statistics showing troubled or failing project rates range from forty to eighty percent. People have asked time and again the primary reason for project failure and I repeat the same list so many have already stated—poor management, inadequate understanding of the goals, miserable communication, the list continues. However, I have discovered one problem common to every project I have recovered that I think is core to many of these generic observations.

Sunday, 29 November 2009 00:00

Don't Be A Project Manager

In a meeting the other day, one exasperated participant exclaimed, "This isn't part of all the processes I just learned to get my PMP, how am I supposed to run this project?" I bit my tongue and refrained from looking over the top of my glasses and calmly telling him that running a project is a heck of a lot more than a series of check boxes. The poor guy was frustrated and lost. He was truly dumbfounded. His hard-earned certification failed to prepared him for his new assignment.

Sunday, 01 November 2009 00:00

Finding Religion, Trusting Leadership

The project team has an obligation to tell leadership or the customer when they think the direction of the project is wrong. However, at some point the team must follow management. They have to trust management has the insight to know what needs to be done. I call this "Finding Religion." People must act on faith believing the direction is best for the company. This is often contrary to data that is in front of the team and indicates another direction.

Monday, 09 November 2009 00:00

When Even The Punt Fails

Mega Screen Projects can be on-time, within budget, meet the specifications and still be a failure. Case in point, the new Dallas 160x72 foot mega screen. It seems the screen displays what it should, but is positioned a bit too low. So low, that on August 21st, the punter kicked a ball into it. Did someone forget the purpose of the stadium was playing football?

Monday, 12 October 2009 00:00

Cultural Faux Pas

Cultural issues can be devastating on any project. It is much larger than the obvious language barrier. In fact, since it is so obvious, language is often the smaller issue. It is critical to understand cultural differences and change the management style to accommodate it. Everyone should spend time learning about the different cultures on the project. A few examples help underscore the point.

Monday, 28 September 2009 00:00

People: Common Failure Symptoms

In daily talks and presentations, I am often asked what the most common reasons are for project failures. I usually turn the question around and ask people what they think. It is a fun exercise and people list a mixture of symptoms and sources. As mentioned in the previous blog, one must drill past the symptoms and get down to the problem itself. It is my firm belief that most project problems are rooted in the people, however people are creatures of habit.

Monday, 21 September 2009 00:00

How Many Things Can Go Wrong...

It is common that when I am called into fix a red project to have management assign all of the projects ills to one problem. As of yet, I have to see such a project. There are multitudes of problems deeply embedded in the organization and the project team to make a project truly crimson. Managers look at how the problems manifest themselves, skip diagnoses and assign blame. Prior to getting to the point of calling an outside party, they have tried to fix the issues by attacking these symptoms. This only makes matters worse and the project becomes a deeper shade of red.

Monday, 24 August 2009 00:00

Technology's Stab in the Back

"Technology... is a queer thing. It brings you great gifts with one hand, and it stabs you in the back with the other." This quote, delivered by C. P. Snow, is one we should all live by. Mr. Snow was a physicist, a novelist and a bit of philosopher. Technology brings about great benefits that many of our projects rely upon. We are using it right now. However, take pause to reflect on how technology is also our nemesis. It haunts our projects with its false promises and lures us into implementing superfluous functionality.

Monday, 10 August 2009 00:00

People Make Projects Fail

The other day a friend said that there were three reasons for project failure. I took exception and stated there were two. As I thought about it more, there is only one. People are at the root of all failures, everything else is a symptom. Let’s look at some common reasons.

The project is over constrained. People set the constraints. If they do not understand the project well enough to set the constraints, or listen to the people that are suggesting the constraints, then they are the problem.

Saturday, 14 November 1998 00:00

Media Information

People talking and listening to Todd Williams

Interview:
Public Sector Problem Projects

Media contact:

Joanne McCall
Office: +1 (503) 642-4191
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Office contact:

Savannah Rogers
Office: +1 (360) 834-7361
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
833 NW 24th Ave
Camas, WA 98607

Keynotes
Event Planner's Page(requires registration)

Publications

Image of Rescue the Problem Project

Author
Rescue the Problem Project
AMACOM (2011)

Image Gower PIPM

Contributing Author
Gower's Handbook of People In Project Management
Gower (2013)

Visualizing Change:
Making Change Fun

Presentation:
Back From Red Excerpts

Book:
Rescue the Problem Project Trailer

Published in Media Contacts
Page 7 of 9

Filling Execution Gaps

Available Worldwide

Filling Exectution Gaps cover

Filling Execution Gaps is available worldwide. Below are some options.

 

PG DirectLogo
Limited Time Price $20.99
Amazon logo
Book or Kindle
Flag of the United States Canadian Flag Flag of the United Kingdom Irish Flag Deutsche Flagge
Drapeau Français Bandiera Italiana PRC flag
Japanese flag
Bandera de España
Flag of India
Bandera de México
Bandeira do Brasil
Flag of Australia
Vlag van Nederland
DeG Press Logo
Barnes and Noble Logo
Books a Million Logo
Booktopia Logo
Worldwide: Many other
book sellers worldwide.