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Why Projects Fail: The Most Important (and Most Commonly Overlooked) Keys to Success

Date post:21-Oct-2014
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We can’t know for sure what percentage of projects end in failure, but industry studies show that the majority of projects do not deliver on their promised results. Yet companies continue to invest large amounts of time and capital into projects with poorly defined goals and a lack of organizational support, ultimately setting project teams up to fail. While each organization has different requirements for success, the biggest detriments to business projects are surprisingly common. In this interactive discussion, Analyst Danielle Hernandez will share commonly overlooked keys to project success from her experience, and will offer guidance to attendees who are responsible or accountable for projects. Danielle will discuss how companies can avoid taking the easy shortcuts and enable their teams to deliver on time, within budget and aligned to expectations. Presented by Danielle Hernandez, Analyst, Applications, ADNET Technologies, LLC Danielle Hernandez, Team Leader, Instructor and Consultant, joined ADNET in 2007 as an Applications Instructor. She quickly grew into a consultant role and has recently been promoted to Team Leader. Danielle is responsible for delivering training to clients, customizing courses to meet specific client needs, and developing course manuals, handouts and outlines for clients and the sales team. Danielle has developed relationships with many clients as they request her services by name! Specialties : Microsoft Office Suites – 2010, 2007, 2003 Adobe – Acrobat, PageMaker, Photoshop Microsoft Communicator & Lync Soft skills – Project Management, Customer Service, Time Management using Outlook SharePoint Course customization & development
Transcript:

Beyond Backups: Ready for Anything

WHY PROJECTS FAIL: THE MOST IMPORTANT KEYS TO SUCCESS

Danielle HernandezApplications AnalystADNET Technologies, LLC

Follow me @Apps_Analyst

Connect with me on LinkedIn (Danielle Hernandez)

BUSINESS STRATEGY

1

AUDIENCE POLL

Project ManagersUpper ManagementExperience managing projectsParticipated on project teams

BUSINESS STRATEGY

2

WHAT IS A PROJECT?

Project Management Book of KnowledgeA project is a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service or result.

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Is project failure a bad thing?

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ACKNOWLEDGE DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVES

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DEFINE FAIL

Merrium-Webster Dictionary Definition

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fail

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DEFINE FAIL

Project Management Definition

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DEFINE FAIL

Business DefinitionClient expectations were not met

ScopeScheduleBudgetRiskResourcesQuality

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DEFINE SUCCESS

Merrium-Webster Dictionary DefinitionFavorable or desired outcome/result

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/success

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DEFINE SUCCESS

Project Management Definition

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DEFINE SUCCESS

Business DefinitionMet/exceeded client expectations

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AUDIENCE DISCUSSION

What does project failure mean to you?Who decides if a project fails?

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RESEARCH & STATISTICS

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US AIR FORCE

ERP software project1.03 billion in costs from 2005 to 2008Will need 1.1 billion to continueHas not yielded any military capabilityWill not be completed on time in 2017, instead most likely in 2020 Restructured 3 times in 3 years (2005-2008)Project cancelled in 2012Will use its "existing and modified logistics systems for 2017 audit compliance"

http://www.cio.com/article/721628/Air_Force_scraps_massive_ERP_project_after_racking_up_1_billion_in_costs

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BIG DIG

Bostons central artery tunnel projectInitial cost = $2.6 Billion ended up at $14.8 Billion9 years behind scheduleEventually completed in 2007

http://www.nasa.gov/offices/oce/appel/ask/issues/39/39s_big_dig.html

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STATE OF CALIFORNIA

Payroll & benefits system - MyCalPAYSBegan in 2004Ended in Feb 2013 with a stop to the project$254 Million spent

http://www.sco.ca.gov/21century.html, http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9236662/California_ends_contract_with_SAP_over_troubled_IT_project

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BEOING 787 DREAMLINER

Scheduled to end in 2008, actually ended in 2011Scheduled to cost $5 billion, actually cost 12-18 b.More complex than they had anticipated

http://calleam.com/WTPF/?p=4617

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GENECA (2010 2011)

75% of respondents admit that their projects are either always or usually doomed right from the start.80% admit they spend at least half their time on rework.78% feel the business is usually or always out of sync with project requirementsOnly 55% feel that the business objectives of their projects are clear to them.Less than 20% describe the requirements process as the articulation of business need.Only 23% state they are always in agreement when a project is truly done

http://www.geneca.com/75-business-executives-anticipate-software-projects-fail/

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All things are created twice; first mentally; then physically. The key to creativity is to begin with the end in mind, with a vision and a blue print of the desired result. Stephen Covey

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AUDIENCE POLL

What is the main reason that projects fail?Scope creepUnrealistic/unclear objectivesLack of commitment by PM, Stakeholders or project teamPoor methodologyPoor communication

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LINKEDIN POLL

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POOR COMMUNICATION

Lack of communication (frequency)Bad quality (lacks details)Wrong choice of methodWrong audience is includedNegative, non-constructive feedbackPoor listening

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COMMENTS WORTH NOTING

Too many projects at onceUnderestimate importance of requirements gatheringDifferent agendas for project sponsor and participantsWhen Project Managers get too confident things tend to go wrongAgreeing to happy datesInability for management to make decisionsMaking assumptionsBlame game

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No matter how good the team or how efficient the methodology, if were not solving the right problem, the project fails. - Woody Williams

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AUDIENCE DISCUSSION

What experience do you have with project failure?Any common threads in reasons why projects have failed from your experience?Is it ok to walk away from a project?

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WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?

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SIGNS YOUR PROJECT IS FAILING

A lot of changes are being requestedTeam members become confusedLack of communicationResources work in the wrong directionTasks are not completed on timeTeams are working overtime or on unscheduled daysResources diverted to other projects/activitiesThere is a lack of buy-inMore issues added than resolvedFew interim deliverables and milestonesClient is dissatisfied (internal or external)

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IS THERE A CURE FOR PROJECT FAILURE?

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TIPS FOR SUCCESS

Contributor to Success/FailureAdjust methodology for best fitDetailed Communication PlanChange Management SystemKeep an eye on the scopeAssign right resourcesUser InvolvementTime Management

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Planning without action is futile, action without planning is fatal. Cornelius Fitchner

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CLOSING SUMMARY

Identify what project success and failure mean to you and your organizationDetermine how you will operate within those guidelinesAccept failure & learn from your mistakesDetermine how your organization will approach failureCelebrate success

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@ADNETTech #WorkSmart

@ADNETTechnologiesLLC

@ADNETTechnologiesInc

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