I saw a blog post about the Top 5 Reasons Your Project Fails recently. They were all good reasons, but those reasons were symptoms, not causes. We seem to always identify the symptoms, but until we fix the cause of failure, those symptoms will return.
The symptoms were:
- Priorities change.
- Incomplete requirements.
- Lack of Resources.
- Lack of User Support.
- Lack of Executive Support.
But these are simply missing practices and processes of the 5 Immutable Principles of project success
So let's look at the symptoms and the principle that could have addressed that symptom
- What Does Done Look Like?
- Incomplete Requirements is not by itself the cause of failure. Agile development makes use of incomplete requirements.
- Many times we encourage incomplete requirement.
- When the Needed Capabilities are not well defined, we have no visibility to what down looks like. Here some guidance on how to start with Capabilities
- What is the path to Done?
- Without a Plan, we have no visibility to the steps needed to reach Done.
- As Yogi Berra says If you don't know where you're going, you'll end up someplace else.
- Do we have enough time, resources, and money to get to Done?
- Without a plan, we can't know how many resources will be needed, what kind of resources, and when they will be needed
- That time, resources, and money are actually random variables, drawn from an underlying population. The distribution of this population can be determined through a variety of means.
- What impediments will we encounter along the way to Done?
- Risk Management is how Adults Manage Projects - Tim Lister
- What are the risk, what are their mitigations
- How do we know we are making progress toward Done?
- Measuring Physical Percent Complete is the foundation of all good project management
- This physical percent complete can be represented as effectiveness, performance, key performance parameter, and other technical measures
So with the 5 symptoms assigned to the 5 Principles, corrective actions can be put in place to avoid the outcomes.