Leaders define vision. A business turns vision into value. It still takes a team of executives, managers, project managers, and individual contributors to drive the projects that build the capabilities transforming businesses. Ergo, projects are the enablers for turning vision into value.
"The government is incapable of running projects. Simply put, their miserably high failure rate proves that government should be out of the project management business." There are plenty of examples of this. We have heard this line, or ones similar to it, time and again and rarely hear how the projects failure reasons support the hypothesis. The reason? The prognosticators purporting this are part of the problem. Coming to that conclusion does not take any superior intellect—just listen to the nightly news. However, to try to get closer to the truth, I candidly and confidentially interviewed a number of government project managers and executives to gather their views. Following is a summary of those conversations.
We have assisted the Oregonian in their drive for fair and accurate reporting by supplying objective input on the Cover Oregon failure:
Why Your CRM Implementation Will Fail was originally posted on The CEO Magazine on May 20, 2014. Almost immediately, the post rocketed around the world and was translated into Mandarin by Fred Wu, CTO of Abraham Technology, Inc. at http://corp.yabolahan.com. A PDF of the article in English and Mandarin may be found here.
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Prior to signing any contract or statement of work (SOW) it should be reviewed by your legal team. While legal experts understand legalities that will helpful in court, they are not delivery experts who can determine whether a SOW will provide you with the product that you anticipate, need, and desire. This review will analyze the scope, methodology, deliverables, and proposed cost to identify for areas that point to weaknesses in the ability to deliver or misalignment in intentions that could result in project failure.
SOW Review Benefits:
- Demystify the SOW.
- Get more value from your subcontractor.
- Minimize risk and vulnerability.
- Save money by avoiding risk.
- Eliminate ambiguity.
- Understand and resolve the gaps between the contract and SOW.
- Identify what is missing that should be added.
- Proactive, Preventative, Productive.
Projects never go bad overnight. It takes time. They slowly drift away from the baseline. Maybe it is a change request that goes undocumented, or a series of tasks that run a little late, or an over-optimistic employee not realizing they are in trouble, or misinterpreted communication. They all add up over time and are very difficult to detect while in the heat of the delivery. It often takes an experienced outsider who is removed from the history and politics to see the issues and make the recommendations that will keep a project on track. The Project Health Check does just that—keeping your project healthy.
A project's destiny is set very early, often before the project even starts. A properly run project launch is the first opportunity when all of the key project stakeholders are gathered and can identify and correct issues. Critical to the kickoff's and project's success is having the right stakeholders reviewing and agreeing to the project approach, risks, and mitigations. Without this short alignment workshop the incident of project failure is much higher.
Project Launch Benefits Include:
- Set up the project for the best chance of success.
- Define the proper project approach through prototyping solutions.
- Identify and vet major project risks.
- Assess mitigation strategies.
- Determine contingency requirements.
- Attain consensus on roles and responsibilities.
In May 2007, the Massachusetts Division of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) signed a contract with Bearing Point, Inc. to modernize the State’s unemployment processing system. The project was called the DUA Quality Unemployment System Transformation (QUEST) Project. Bearing Point filed for bankruptcy in February 2009 and Deloitte announced they would buy Bearing Point for $350MM in March of the same year.
In order to comply with the Affordable Care Act, the State of Oregon made the decision to build its own Health Insurance Exchange (ORHIX). An online portal to allow applicants was supposed to go live October 1, 2013. As of March 30, 2014 the site was not functional and all ORHIX applications must be processed from paper applications.