A Review of the Top 10 Obstacles to Project Success and their mitigation strategies PRESENTED BY: Lou Gasco MüTō Performan...
Use of this presentation <ul><li>This presentation is intended for use by Project Management, Program Management, or Senio...
data sources <ul><li>the 2009 MüTō Performance Corp. survey </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rank the Top 10 Obstacles to Project Suc...
survey review method <ul><li>we’ll review the “Top Ten”  obstacles… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>from #10 (least frequent) - #1 (...
The Top 10 Countdown
#10. A Skill Set Challenged Team Explanation The team is unable to support the project due  to a partial or complete lack ...
#9. A Disappearing Sponsor Explanation The sponsor cannot be reached.  Symptoms <ul><li>Critical decisions on the project ...
#8. Invisible Requirements Explanation The project has a ‘goal’,  but no finalized requirements. Symptoms <ul><li>“ The te...
#7. The Finance Challenge Explanation Not enough funding to complete the project as desired. Symptoms <ul><li>The sponsor ...
#6. Responsibility Unrelated to Authority Explanation Project manager (or team) lacks the authority to uphold   their resp...
#5. Tardy Delivery of Project Tasks Explanation Suppliers are not delivering their tasks on time. Symptoms <ul><li>Supplie...
#4. Minimal or Nonexistent Testing Explanation The testing (Q&A) process is either nonexistent,  or reduced beyond any pla...
#3. The Resource Challenge Explanation Not enough resources to complete  the project as desired. Symptoms <ul><li>The spon...
#2. Challenging Schedule Explanation The date for delivery of the project’s solution makes it difficult to deliver on time...
#1. Spontaneous Requirements Explanation Scope creep. Symptoms <ul><li>“ We have a change control.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Sa...
Results (Overall)
North America and Western Europe
Between Outsourcers and Customers
Mitigation <ul><li>Process </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Have them in place. (Change Management, Life-Cycle Management, Project Me...
People <ul><li>Develop Communication </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Do everything humanly possible to communicate clearly. </li></u...
One final thought… Success is not by chance.
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2009 Top Ten Obstacles To Project Success

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This presentation is intended for use by Project Management, Program Management, or Senior I.T. Leadership to understand the nature of the most common obstacles found by project managers on typical projects.

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2009 Top Ten Obstacles To Project Success

  1. 1. A Review of the Top 10 Obstacles to Project Success and their mitigation strategies PRESENTED BY: Lou Gasco MüTō Performance Corp. [email_address] 212-842-0508 x3
  2. 2. Use of this presentation <ul><li>This presentation is intended for use by Project Management, Program Management, or Senior I.T. Leadership to understand the nature of the most common obstacles found by project managers on typical projects. </li></ul><ul><li>The presentation typically takes from 60 - 90 minutes to complete with Q&A, and depending on audience participation. </li></ul><ul><li>The content on this presentation is protected by copyright law. Any duplication of any part of this presentation requires the explicit authorization of MüTō Performance Corporation. </li></ul><ul><li>Upon completion of this presentation the audience will have a clearer understanding that; </li></ul><ul><ul><li>they are not alone in the project obstacles, or issues that they encounter on their projects. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>they understand that the resolution to these issues lies in their capability to; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>communicate clearly with team members </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>motivate their teams </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>hold their team mates accountable to tasks </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>the earlier these skill-sets are improved the lower the impact of these risks. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The final slide shows a hint of the required skill sets. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>For a copy of this presentation, contact; </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Lou Gasco </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>212-842-0508 xt 3 </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. data sources <ul><li>the 2009 MüTō Performance Corp. survey </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rank the Top 10 Obstacles to Project Success. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>answers from over 1,000+ project, program managers, and team leads globally </li></ul><ul><ul><li>various blogs, and forums </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>class surveys </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>client assessments </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>20+ years of professional program management experience </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. survey review method <ul><li>we’ll review the “Top Ten” obstacles… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>from #10 (least frequent) - #1 (most frequent) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>each obstacle is defined </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>early detection symptoms </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>potential mitigation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>global results </li></ul></ul><ul><li>we will be “P.C.” about it </li></ul><ul><li>we won’t rely on the Dilbert Principle </li></ul><ul><li>we WILL focus on reality </li></ul>
  5. 5. The Top 10 Countdown
  6. 6. #10. A Skill Set Challenged Team Explanation The team is unable to support the project due to a partial or complete lack of technical skill sets. Symptoms <ul><li>Code is completely redone from scratch. </li></ul><ul><li>Delivery dates are constantly moved as “new information” becomes available. </li></ul><ul><li>Teammates say, “I don’t know how to do this.” </li></ul>Potential Mitigation <ul><li>Open up communications; determine true skill sets at the start. </li></ul><ul><li>Commit team to roles, and responsibilities </li></ul><ul><li>Get teammates the resources to learn as necessary. </li></ul>Stayed at #10 since 2008 Occurs in 34% of projects ‘ I know we are supposed to be finished tomorrow, but we had a question… Did you say “Three” or “Tree”?’ a supplier to the project manager when construction was stalled due to a requirements question.
  7. 7. #9. A Disappearing Sponsor Explanation The sponsor cannot be reached. Symptoms <ul><li>Critical decisions on the project are delayed, because the sponsor can’t be found. </li></ul><ul><li>Sponsor says, “You go ahead and approve it, I’ll back it when the time comes.” </li></ul>Potential Mitigation <ul><li>Establish clear accountability of roles and responsibilities w/ sponsors. </li></ul><ul><li>If the above mitigation cannot be accomplished, create a plan that includes processes for working within an environment where the sponsor disappears. </li></ul>Dropped from #3 since 2008 Occurs in 39% of projects “ I never actually gave you permission to go ahead with the project.” The sponsor to the project manager, when asked to mediate a situation with another team.
  8. 8. #8. Invisible Requirements Explanation The project has a ‘goal’, but no finalized requirements. Symptoms <ul><li>“ The team should know what is needed.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Look, we wrote down what we need, what more do you want?” </li></ul>Potential Mitigation <ul><li>Establish clear accountability of roles and responsibilities with beneficiaries. </li></ul><ul><li>If the above mitigation cannot be accomplished, create a plan that includes a process for managing newly found requirements. </li></ul>“ Well, if you are not going to be constructive we’ll just have to replace you.” a sponsor to a project lead, when the lead asked “What are we doing?” Dropped from #2 since 2008 Occurs in 50% of projects
  9. 9. #7. The Finance Challenge Explanation Not enough funding to complete the project as desired. Symptoms <ul><li>The sponsor says “We all have to do more with less.” </li></ul><ul><li>No one is following up on the project’s budget/cost analysis. </li></ul>Potential Mitigation <ul><li>Establish clear communication of funding requirements, risks created, and their mitigation with the sponsors. </li></ul><ul><li>If the above mitigation cannot be accomplished, create a plan that includes processes that support acceptance of task level expenditures. </li></ul>“ Don’t worry about the budget, we have no budget, just do the project, we’ll figure it out after.” A Sponsor to the project manager after being told, they had no budget code. Dropped from #4 since 2008 Occurs in 54% of projects
  10. 10. #6. Responsibility Unrelated to Authority Explanation Project manager (or team) lacks the authority to uphold their responsibility. Symptoms <ul><li>The PM is taking minutes while someone else manages the project meetings. </li></ul><ul><li>Teammates constantly require approvals from their management to deliver on their responsibilities. </li></ul>Potential Mitigation <ul><li>Open up communications through to management. </li></ul><ul><li>Commit team (and their management) to Roles, and Responsibilities </li></ul>“ You are only authorized to complete the project, for anything else, you have to get written approval, but I’m not sure from who.” Clear instructions on the modus operandi? from the sponsor to the project manager Up from #9 since 2008 Occurs in 60% of projects
  11. 11. #5. Tardy Delivery of Project Tasks Explanation Suppliers are not delivering their tasks on time. Symptoms <ul><li>Suppliers are saying “Yes, we’re on time, everything’s fine.” with no validation. </li></ul><ul><li>A request for new information about the design in the midst of construction. </li></ul>Potential Mitigation <ul><li>Commitment to supplier delivery, roles, and responsibilities. </li></ul><ul><li>Clear communication of delivery dates, times. </li></ul><ul><li>Correct all supplier issues, before they affect timelines. </li></ul>“ No problem, we can have it for you by when you want it, mostly … I’m sure, give or take a few things, or a week, maybe.” a Supplier, guaranteeing delivery to the Project Manager Up from #6 since 2008 Occurs in 60% of projects
  12. 12. #4. Minimal or Nonexistent Testing Explanation The testing (Q&A) process is either nonexistent, or reduced beyond any planned duration. Symptoms <ul><li>Testing time is being shortened in order to make room for more development. </li></ul><ul><li>There are excessive amounts of bugs in production. </li></ul>Potential Mitigation <ul><li>Commitment to testing time. </li></ul><ul><li>Clear communication of necessity of testing. </li></ul><ul><li>Correct time consuming issues before they affect testing time. </li></ul>“ We just saved 22% of the budget by cutting out QA, entirely. After all, we could test Monday morning in production!” a Project Manager to his Sponsor with a rationale Up from #7 since 2008 Occurs in 61% of projects
  13. 13. #3. The Resource Challenge Explanation Not enough resources to complete the project as desired. Symptoms <ul><li>The sponsor says “We all have to do more with less.” </li></ul><ul><li>The plan by design, requires everyone to work overtime, all the time, until completion. </li></ul>Potential Mitigation <ul><li>Establish clear communication of funding requirements, risks created, and their mitigation to sponsors. </li></ul><ul><li>If the above mitigation cannot be accomplished, create a plan that approves task level resource commitments with sponsors. </li></ul>“ If everybody stayed in the office, worked around the clock, took no breaks, and stopped everything else we could finish the job by this Tuesday.” A Project Manager to his sponsor when asked to do more with less. Up from #5 since 2008 Occurs in 74% of projects
  14. 14. #2. Challenging Schedule Explanation The date for delivery of the project’s solution makes it difficult to deliver on time. Symptoms <ul><li>Date for delivery is set and the project is funded before any research/analysis work is completed. </li></ul><ul><li>Team members are saying “We don’t have enough time to deliver.” </li></ul>Potential Mitigation <ul><li>Open up communications with sponsors </li></ul><ul><li>Commit the team to effective analysis. </li></ul><ul><li>Befriend change management. </li></ul>“ The deadline for this project is Tuesday, January 11th, because we started on November 1st, and that makes it all one’s.” a sponsor to the project team Up from #8 since 2008 Occurs in 78% of projects
  15. 15. #1. Spontaneous Requirements Explanation Scope creep. Symptoms <ul><li>“ We have a change control.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Say…while we are doing that…why don’t we do this other thing too?” </li></ul>Potential Mitigation <ul><li>Establish clear communication of the project’s requirements and goals with the project team. </li></ul><ul><li>If the above mitigation cannot be accomplished create a plan that incorporates a scope change ‘vetting session’ prior to change management. </li></ul>“ Since we have the patient open, why don’t we also remove the appendix, he’s not using it, is he?” a surgeon who is no longer practicing. #1 since 2008 Occurs in 84% of projects
  16. 16. Results (Overall)
  17. 17. North America and Western Europe
  18. 18. Between Outsourcers and Customers
  19. 19. Mitigation <ul><li>Process </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Have them in place. (Change Management, Life-Cycle Management, Project Methodologies etc.) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Make sure they are understood. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Make sure they are accepted. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Make sure they are followed. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Systems </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Automate the processes. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Make sure they are LESS onerous, and do not add complexity. </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. People <ul><li>Develop Communication </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Do everything humanly possible to communicate clearly. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Do nothing that blocks or confuses communication. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Develop Motivation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>  Happy , productive team-mate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Keep them happy (ask them how.) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>  Sad , upset team-mate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Get them happy (ask them how.) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>  Apathetic , uncaring team-mate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Get them talking (get to know them.) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Enforce Accountability </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Have a plan “B”, for every agreement. </li></ul></ul>What’s your team’s temperature? Have you enforced accountability? Who are you attempting to communicate with, and how do they perceive you?
  21. 21. One final thought… Success is not by chance.

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