How long do you want it to hurt…?

When that large project is stalled, stumbling over unexpected delays and rising costs – why do we keep moving down the same path?

This is something I’ve asked myself, repeatedly – especially when it seems to happen on a regular basis.


It’s like, if we hold more meetings and add more senior people to the project, then we can stay on top of everything by monitoring them more closely.

And we do this for weeks – sometimes months – hoping our program managers can lead the project out of the valley to the promised land.

Yet, more and more – they ask for additional resources, more time and the budget increases exponentially.

The Future

There are several unexpected issues and now they’re reacting to them – doing the best they can, because they’re really smart people – but they can’t tell you when we can confidently release the product.

There are just too many risks.

So what do we do now?

We forge ahead – we’ve spent way too much money and there’s a lot of time and energy invested – we can’t afford to throw it all away at this juncture.

At what point do we say “Stop the Presses” and take a look from a different vantage point to gain some perspective?

Let’s start with Gartner’s recent survey about why projects fail.   (Gartner Report Published 1 June 2012 ID G00231951)

Here are several Key Findings:

  • Runaway budget costs are behind one-quarter of project failures for projects with budgets greater than $350,000.
  • Small is beautiful – or at least small projects are easier to manage and execute.
  • The Failure Rate of large IT projects with budgets exceeding $1 million was found to be almost 50% higher than for projects with budgets below $350,000.
project failure

Gartner illustration: Distribution of Success & Failure Across Project Sizes

This begs the question – WHY do projects Fail?

Fear, Complacency and Inertia.

We become blinded by what our Managers are telling us:

“It’s OK Boss, we have it under control – just a couple of unexpected issues popped up, but we’ve experienced them before so we feel we can handle them…”

Gartner Illustration 2

Gartner Illustration for Why Projects Fail.

We WANT to believe our team is on top of the problems and that, the project will be a success.

At what point do we decide, enough is enough and something’s got to change?

Think of it this way – why do Men wait until they’re in pain before they go see a Doctor?

  • Fear of being probed, prodded and poked
  • Fear of the unknown
  • Fear of really bad news

How bad will it get if we don’t change the project delivery scenario?

Compare this to our Fear of the Doctor – ignoring or putting off the pain will only make it worse, right?

However – what can happen when we DO go to the Doctor…?

We can find out what’s really going on – and – get competent advice from an Expert, on time tested, proven remedies.

Plus – as any good Doctor will tell us – putting a Wellness Program in place, helps us avoid these scary visits in the first place.

So we need to ask ourselves – do we want to visit the Doctor because it hurts so much?

Or do we want to work WITH the Doctor to improve our health over time….and actually enjoy delivering those Projects?

The Choice is ours.

To learn more about best practices benefits:

  • Improved performance
  • Greater productivity
  • Increased customer satisfaction with your products

You may also like...