Doomed Projects

How many of us are working on projects that we know are headed for trouble? According to a recent survey (see complete results at, 90% say they know when a project will fail and 78% say that they are working on projects that are doomed. We spend billions of dollars on projects, most of us are working on projects, so why are they doomed? A lot of projects aren’t set up correctly, aren’t addressing the right business issues, and ignore the human factors involved. The sad part is that often the people working on these projects know that they will fail, and yet, they are afraid to voice their opinion to the people in charge. That speaks volumes about the culture of an organization. Open cultures where there are high levels of trust encourage the expression of people’s ideas and thoughts, even contrary ones. The senior leaders must be visible and approachable so that they can be confronted with the truth. I wish I could say that I mistrust the research, but I have been in enough companies to know that its conclusions are true.

Are you working on a doomed project? Can you tell your boss? What are your thoughts on how to save a doomed project?

Val Willis posted this on March 23, 2007, in Leadership.
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