Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I now know how to prevent most project failures – thank you Capers Jones!

The secrets are out, the underlying reason why projects fail, some so badly that they result in litigation cases. The glove fits, the DNA was matched, the evidence is overwhelming AND the amazing part is that this is well known and communicated information. Let me start by saying that I had the privilege of attending a conference that Capers Jones presented at, one of the most amazing moments was when he told all of the CIO’s present (from some very large companies) that they are making the same mistakes that have been made for 20+ years and are directly responsible for them…since the cause/effect and method of correction has been known and identified long ago…and the room fell silent.

Here’s a link to the entire paper that will cure the curse of project failure:

in Summary:
  • Estimating – either poorly done or rejected. Just amazing how knowledgeable business execs/owners can turn a blind eye to hard data AND then question why the project failed.
  • Change Requirements – the typical case of the scope continuing to grow without control and without taking the impact to time/costs into account. I think metal stress was a known test in the 1800’s…200 years later and IT/Business hasn’t found the book.
  • Quality – as stated in the doc: defect prevention, defect removal and defect measuring – abc’s of QA.
  • Project Tracking – as stated in the doc: Achieving specific and tangible milestones; 2) Expending resources and funds within specific budgeted amounts.
WAIT A MINUTE!! It can’t be that simple!?! These are known and easily implemented changes!?! Short Answer: Yes!

Well next time a project fails don’t go looking for Godzilla tracks, just dig Capers Jones article back up and bang your head against the wall.

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