Friday, May 27, 2011

Project Failure: Cobb's Paradox

Cobb’s Paradox states, “We know why projects fail; we know how to prevent their failure – so why do they still fail?”. PMI has recently published its latest Pulse of the Profession survey which shows some improvements on the 2008 and 2006 results but not much. Nearly half the projects surveyed in 2010 still failed to meet time and cost targets.

However, the PMI survey did highlight a stark difference between high performing organizations with a better than 80% success rate, and low performing organizations with a greater than 40% fail rate. And, the survey also clearly showed the processes typically used by the high performing organizations (and ignored by low performing organizations) are straightforward to implement and use; they include:
  • Using standardized project management processes.
  • Establishing a process to mature project, program and portfolio management practices.
  • Using a process to increase project management competency.
  • Employing qualified project management
So, given the tools are available, the knowledge is available, and the value has been consistently demonstrated; why are organizations still prepared to squander $millions on failed projects rather than investing a fraction of that amount in simple systems that can significantly improve the value they deliver to their stakeholders?

Read full article by Lynda Bourne for PM Hut:

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