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Questions about projects…

I have procrastinated for months and have finally decided to start this blog. I will spend the next few months (probably years) blogging about change and IT projects (what is an IT project anyway?).

I am starting with questions about projects. This may seem unusual as most people want answers and not questions. I don’t have all the answers and in many cases there are no right or wrong generic answers as this topic is very contextual. I am hoping that the blogo- and twitter-spheres will generate fruitful discussions.

The following questions are categorised under General, Before, During and After a project.

General

  • What is an IT project?
  • Do IT projects have a better or worse failure rate than non IT ones (or ones that do not involve any IT)?
  • What is the human psychology around projects?
  • Why do smart, high achieving leaders initiate a large number of projects that cannot possibly be worked on and/or delivered simultaneously within their organisations?
  • Why do we train project managers and very few others (e.g. sponsors and business leaders)?

Before

  • Why do people start projects without knowing what they want to achieve?
  • Why are most projects initiated with little thought about how to realise the desired business benefits?
  • Why are projects initiated and funding provided when organisational readiness is not assessed?
  • Why do people create big projects when they know that most of them fail?

During

  • Why do people at multiple levels, especially sponsors and project managers cover up the reality of the project status as well as problems/ issues/ risks that will in time be exposed?
  • Why do so few project board members genuinely engage in ensuring the project is being well run and will be successful?
  • Why do people rush the initiation phase of projects when we know that most problems can be traced back to this phase?
  • Why are so few sponsors willing to stop a project when the business case is no longer justified?

After

  • Why do so few organisations/sponsors measure the benefits they were expecting to deliver?
  • Why do so few organisations genuinely learn from the mistakes they make and build this into future projects?

I will attempt to answer these and other questions in the coming months and years, I will post links to relevant sites, people, papers and articles. All constructive feedback welcome.

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Categories: Projects and change