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Projects fail when they lose touch with reality: BCS - Dec 2012

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Slides from my talk to BCS Edinburgh, 5 December 2012

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Projects fail when they lose touch with reality: BCS - Dec 2012

  1. 1. Projects fail when… … they lose touch with realityProjects fail when...Dec 2012 1
  2. 2. Projects fail when...Dec 2012 2 hendriko
  3. 3. Failure can be ambiguousProjects fail when...Dec 2012 3 Bitman
  4. 4. Beware of agendas!Projects fail when...Dec 2012 4
  5. 5. Projects FailProjects fail when...Dec 2012 5 pri.studio360
  6. 6. Projects fail when...Dec 2012 6 Ville Miettinen
  7. 7. Earthquake Aftershocks  Days until Slipdelivery date Lead Time Projects fail when...Dec 2012 7
  8. 8. • 9 months of smooth running • Then magnitude of task suddenly hits (stress builds to point where something gives) • PMs asked for what they thought they could get, not what they needed  • Anchored by proximity of deadline Slip Lead Projects fail when...Dec 2012 8
  9. 9. Project Management LiteratureProjects fail when...Dec 2012 9
  10. 10. Poor link to organisational objectivesProjects fail when...Dec 2012 10 lsie esq.
  11. 11. Unclear scope and requirementsProjects fail when...Dec 2012 11 Green-Ghost
  12. 12. Lack of executive commitment / involvementProjects fail when...Dec 2012 12 jurvetson
  13. 13. Unmanaged change Projects fail when... Dec 2012 13 Hamed Saber
  14. 14. Unmanaged risks (often undiscussables)Projects fail when...Dec 2012 14 qmnonic
  15. 15. Poor communications (internal and external)Projects fail when...Dec 2012 15 aturkus
  16. 16. Unrealisticestimates, schedules, staf fing, toolsProjects fail when...Dec 2012 16
  17. 17. So what? We already know all this stuff.Projects fail when...Dec 2012 17
  18. 18. We lose touch with reality as we estimate, negotiate, track progress, … Project failures becomeapparent when we run into reality Note: The failure actually happened long before it became apparent. To avoid disaster, identify the failure while it can be remedied and learned from. Complexity, optimism, power games, cognitive biases, fear all exacerbate the problem Much project management is about building mechanisms to Projects keep in touch with reality fail when... Dec 2012 18 Simon Schoeters
  19. 19. Because projects are run by people…Why don’t we recognise failures earlier?Projects fail when...Dec 2012 19 Marcin Wichary
  20. 20. OverconfidenceProjects fail when...Dec 2012 20 jack_spellingbacon
  21. 21. OversimplificationProjects fail when...Dec 2012 21 futureatlas.com
  22. 22. AnchoringProjects fail when...Dec 2012 22 kainet
  23. 23. Avoiding painProjects fail when...Dec 2012 23 annia316
  24. 24. Confirmation biasProjects fail when...Dec 2012 24 Antoaneta
  25. 25. Projects fail when... Repetition biasDec 2012 25 Madzik
  26. 26. Perceptual biasesProjects fail when...Dec 2012 26 condour
  27. 27. Projects fail when...Dec 2012 27 lostajy
  28. 28. What can we do?Projects fail when...Dec 2012 28
  29. 29. Control parameters Baseline Criteria Reference Feedback Models to improve reference modelsInputs Review execution OutputsArtefacts & other Analysis Loopitems to review, plus Go / No -go Improvedsupporting details. decision. artefacts. Recommendations to improve review artefacts Reviews Projects fail when... Dec 2012 29 AlphaGeek
  30. 30.  Slip Lead Projects fail when...Dec 2012 30
  31. 31. • Surfaced concerns earlier• Helped people plan before asking• Gave courage to ask for what they needed• Sponsored an informed debate  Slip 3 months • People generally knew what was wrong with their projects Lead  • Reviews surfaced information, they didn’tProjects fail when... create itDec 2012 31
  32. 32. Small chunksProjects fail when...Dec 2012 32 oskay
  33. 33. MetricsProjects fail when...Dec 2012 33 kakutani
  34. 34. Plan for change(Plan as guide, not crutch)Projects fail when...Dec 2012 34 sidstamm
  35. 35. Understand boundary between project and operationsProjects fail when...Dec 2012 35
  36. 36. CommunicateProjects fail when...Dec 2012 36 ky_olsen
  37. 37. Summary Two types of failure a) Failure you learn from b) Failure that kills you We engage with risks to achieve rewards Sometimes the risks win Complexity and intangibility exacerbate the risks We recognise failure when we run into reality If we keep in touch with reality, the bump is less dramatic Watch reality, not the planProjects fail when...Dec 2012 37
  38. 38. Thank Yougraham@grahamoakes.co.uk@GrahamDOakesProjects fail when...Dec 2012 38
  39. 39. Graham Oakes Ltd Making sense of technology…  Many organisations are caught up in the complexity of technology and systems.  This complexity may be inherent to the technology itself. It may be created by the pace of technology change. Or it may arise from the surrounding process, people and governance structures.  We help untangle this complexity and define business strategies that both can be implemented and will be adopted by people throughout the organisation and its partner network. We then help assure delivery of implementation projects. Clients…  Cisco Worldwide Education – Architecture and research for e-learning and educational systems  Council of Europe – Systems for monitoring compliance with international treaties; e-learning systems  Dover Harbour Board – Systems and architecture review  MessageLabs – Architecture and assurance for partner management portal  National Savings & Investments – Helped NS&I and BPO partner develop joint IS strategy  The Open University – Enterprise architecture, CRM and product development strategies  Oxfam – Content management, CRM, e-Commerce  Thames Valley Police – Internet Consultancy  Sony Computer Entertainment – Global process definition  Amnesty International, Endemol, tsoosayLabs, Vodafone, …Projects fail when...Dec 2012 39

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