Used Car Quote

Used Car Buying Tips – info on getting your best deal Buying new cars, used car tips and resources for a great deal…

Project Failure: We are at It Again Serendipity happens. I replied to a student Inside pmStudent eLearning with what turned to be an article about project success and failure. Shim wrote, “Projects failure rates?” a few days later. The conventional wisdom is wrong! His blog is amazing. I began leaving comments, and it quickly became one of those comments that should be its own post. Chaos I mean the reports that various organizations have on project failure rates. Shim outlined the following in his post:

  • Chaos Report (1994) ? Only 16.2% of projects were successful in all measures. Over 52 percent of the 70% projects that failed were partial failures, while 31% were complete failures.
  • OASIG survey (1995) ? Based on the most optimistic interviews, the quoted IT project success rate is between 20-30%.
  • Chaos Report (1995) ? Standish Group research suggests that 31.1% will cancel projects before they are completed. Further research shows that 52.7% of projects will exceed 189% of their original estimates.
  • KPMG Canada Survey (1997) ? 61 % of respondents reported details about a failed IT project.
  • Conference Board Survey (2001). 40% of the projects failed within one year of going live.
  • Robbins-Gioia Survey (2001) ? 51 % considered their ERP implementation unsuccessful
  • Dr. Dobb’s Journal (DDJ), Survey (2007) 72% of all Agile projects were successful compared to 63% for traditional Data Warehouse projects.
  • Chaos Report (2009) ? Only 32% of projects were deemed successful. Comparable to 35% in 2006, only 32% of projects have been deemed successful.
  • You can find great commentary from Glen Alleman, Steve Romero and Pawel Brodzinski in Shim’s comments section. These reports are skeptical of my opinion. Let’s not get too excited about that. Controls These are observational studies with all the limitations that go with that type of research. How can you control for variation among organizations, people within them, and subtleties of culture or methodology? Practically speaking, you can’t. Did the charisma or skill of those in charge make an implementation of EVM or configuration management, Kanban or Agile more or less successful? How can you control charisma across project teams, countries, countries, and industries? Practically speaking, you can’t. You can’t gain any real knowledge from a study if it’s not experimental. Some experiments are better than others, as with all experiments. For examples of experiments in human psychology that can be applied to improve our projects, see the studies I have cited.

    • How expectations can mess up project estimates
    • What does that have to do with the price of a cordless keyboard?
    • Do your project teams suffer from chronic media multitasking?

    Applicability What is the purpose of these reports? Apart from being a way to create fear in sales prospects for project management consulting, and software that will fix the problem’, what’s the value? These reports may be accurate, but does it really matter to you? Is it possible to compare the state of your program or organization’s behavior and results with the aggregate? You can’t. Check Controls. False Dichotomy A logic fallacy known as the false dichotomy. In this instance, you would be led as to believe that there are two states for projects: success or failure. These false dichotomies can be revealed using the Reductio Ad absurdum. Let me show you. A successful project has reached its budget if it is measured on the cost axis. It was $100,000 +/- 5%, with a total budget $110,000. This assumes G&A and reserve. That’s your maximum spe

    Back to top