Are your projects failing? How to avoid the Pitfalls

In a recently published article entitled Why Projects Fail (And How to Avoid the Pitfalls) published by Enterprise Systems, Senior Director of Strategy for Oracle Projects Colleen Baumbach outlines many of the common mistakes that lead to project failure.

I think one of the best points Ms. Baumbach makes is at the end where she says the accumulated years of project failures almost creates a mindset from the start that a project is doomed.  As she notes, there are countless studies that have been prepared showing how dismal project success rates are.

How are companies addressing this?  According to a Forrester study published in early 2007, twenty-six percent of IT leaders planned to hire project managers and 59 percent planned to train their current staff in project management in 2007.  They noted that those numbers changed very little from 2002.

Further reasoning behind the rush to acquire or train more qualified project managers: 

“The reason for the continued emphasis on project management skills is because IT’s value to business remains contingent on it’s ability to deliver projects which meet business requirements both on time and on budget. IT staff accustomed to more technical roles struggle to transition to project management, CIO’s argue, and complain that educational institutions are not putting adequate focus on these skills through coursework.”

It should be a good time to be a project manager as long as you know how to avoid the pitfalls.

Happy New Year everyone!

I apologize for this site being on hiatus for so long.  There’s a hundred excuses but I’m sure none of them sound very good when put down in print so let me just say that I will renew my efforts to keep it up to date.  I hope everyone out there had a fantastic holiday season and is looking forward to 2008. 

The world of Projects is always interesting and full of highs and lows.  I was reminded of the lows on New Year’s Eve when I received a call from an old friend, Mark, who still project manages PeopleSoft implementations for a large consulting firm.  

Mark lives in Madison, Wisconsin but his current client is in Raleigh, North Carolina.  When I got his call at my home around 9pm on New Year’s Eve we both had a good laugh.  He said that he could tell I had a wife and kids because I was home at 9pm on New Year’s.  I laughed and said I knew he’s a project manager because he was at his client’s office far away from home on New Year’s Eve!

Often the sacrifices that come from working those crazy times of the year to minimize the daily disruptions of co-workers goes unnoticed.  It takes that special breed to want to give up so much personal time to make sure a project runs as smooth as possible.

So lift up your coffee mug to those unsung heroes that toil on while you’re either snug at home watching the re-invention of Dick Clark (is it just me or does Carson Daly really, really look like a young Dick?), or catching a movie like we did (Transformers actually wasn’t as bad as I thought once you give up your grip on reality), and let’s salute the Project Managers (and all those that do the task work under them but do it for double time and a half)!