Failure to implement

by Lee Porter 25. June 2009 17:07

It doesn’t matter how good a design is or how wonderful the solution has been build: unless it’s implemented successfully it will be deemed a failure…

At the Beginning During the Project At the End
•Business process impact ignored ie changes to associated business processes  •Failure to formally define and agree ‘acceptance’ •Failure to approve / sign-off completion / handover
•Failure to manage the business change associated with the implementation     

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Failure in funding

by Lee Porter 25. June 2009 16:48

Everything costs something, you need to have adequate funding available at the right time. If funding cuts occur something has to give…

At the Beginning During the Project At the End
•Inadequate funding •Reduced funding without changes to scope / quality etc •Failure to update business case with actual costs
•Delays in releasing funding •Failure to manage external costs, leading to overruns / need to reduce scope  
•Failure to agree contingency funds    

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Failure to get the right people

by Lee Porter 25. June 2009 16:07

Projects are run and delivered by people: if you don’t get the right people at the right time you won’t succeed…

At the Beginning During the Project At the End
•Skills mismatch of project team (technical, functional, style) •Poor interpersonal skills of project team •Failure to adequately transfer knowledge to operational staff
•Assigning under-skilled managers •Poor capability of business resource assigned to project  
•Inadequate staffing •Communication breakdowns  
•Failure to independently validate team capability    
•Failure to ‘flex’ staff / skills to meet complexity changes    
•Failure to maintain continuity between phases    

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Failure to match requirements

by Lee Porter 25. June 2009 15:33

Failure to ensure that the design matches the requirements will lead to the building of a solution that isn't fit for purpose…

At the Beginning During the Project At the End
•Technology / architecture choices wrong •Poor / wrong architecture chosen •Failure to sign-off / approve design
•Design does not meet stated requirements    
•Inadequate review / validation of design by users    

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Failure to implement controls

by Lee Porter 25. June 2009 15:24

Failure to implement and utilise appropriate methods and tools means the project is driving blind…

At the Beginning During the Project At the End
•Failure to define and agree Governance Model •Project Management disciplines not followed •Failure to review and learn from the past and build it into future activities
•Failure to adopt project methodology •No quality management in place  
•Poor estimating (schedule, cost, benefits, risk) •Failure to comply with project methodology ie cutting corners  
•Failure to adequately plan •Failure to ‘manage the plan’  

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Failure to manage complexity

by Lee Porter 25. June 2009 12:38

Project complexity is a factor of scope, budget and resource. Failure to properly balance these significantly increases the chance of failure...

At the Beginning During the Project At the End
•Overly ambitious goals / targets •Unrealistic deadlines / milestones •Failure to learn and improve from experience
•Bad idea •Failure to follow project principles e.g. cut budget but no change to scope  
•Unfeasible objectives •Failure to measure changes in complexity and associated risk  
•Underestimation of complexity •Failure to review and challenge assumptions  

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Failure to clearly define the specification

by Lee Porter 25. June 2009 12:10

Failure to clearly define and agree the solution specification means you build on a foundation of sand...

At the Beginning During the Project At the End
•Failure to agree format / detail of specification •Failure to get adequate end user input / buy in to the specification •Failure to maintain requirements / specification documents during live operations
•Customer unsure of what they want •Incomplete, superficial definition of requirements  
•Failure to manage changes to specification during the project    
•Failure to get alignment to agreed / signed-off requirements    

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Failure to define and manage the scope

by Lee Porter 25. June 2009 11:23

Failure to define, agree and manage the scope can significantly increase the risk of a project due to increased uncertainty; conflicting demands, unrealistic requirements…

At the Beginning During the Project At the End
•Setting an overambitious / unrealistic scope •Failure to manage scope change ie scope creep •Failure to ensure business case reflects final scope
•Incomplete / vague project scope •Failure to keep scope documentation ‘current’  
•Failure to agree and implement rigorous change control    

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Failure to define and align the stakeholders

by Lee Porter 25. June 2009 10:47

Failure to define and align the stakeholders can lead to conflicting client demands and requirements and disasterous mismatch of expectations...

At the Beginning During the Project At the End
•Inadequate definition of stakeholders (groups and individuals) •Stakeholders not managed on an ongoing basis •Stakeholders views not reconciled vs expectations
•Stakeholders expectations and requirements not defined and aligned •Changes in key stakeholders not properly assessed and managed  
•Ownership and sponsorship not clearly defined / bought into •Expectations not managed on an ongoing basis  
•Lack of senior mgmt support for the programme / project •Conflicts between stakeholders demands  
•No business sponsorship •No / limited access to senior management  

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Failure to deliver real business benefits

by Lee Porter 24. June 2009 15:54

Failure to deliver real business benefit is the ultimate failure of any project. In many instances this is the ‘symptom’ and the underlying cause is due to one or more of the other common causes.

At the Beginning During the Project At the End
•Lack of alignment to business strategy •Solution fails to maintain alignment to a moving business strategy •BAU fails to measure and manage ongoing benefits realisation
•Project undertaken for ‘wrong reasons’ ie pet projects •Project doesn’t measure and manage benefits realisation •Business failure to further invest in order to maintain strategy alignment / business needs
•Business Case not defined    

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