Only 1/3rd of projects were successfully completed on time and on budget last year, according to the Standish Group’s CHAOS report. That’s the worst recorded failure rate by the organization. The reasons behind this are, one can assume, many, but as this article by Ian Templeton suggests, it’s possible to identify a few reasons that so many failures are occurring. For one, proper project management depends on planning and follow-up control. Another consideration that is often missed is planning based on the complexity of the project:
One of the most common aspects missed by project managers in their project management planning is the complexity of a project. No matter the size or cost of a project, the most fundamental things to understand is its structural, political, social and technical complexity. This is one of the reason why the Orange Synergy methodology features an Opportunity Assessment phase (pre-project) and provides guidance on assessing project complexity. When a project is assessed correctly it provides the basis for future set-up and planning decisions that will become critical in the execution phase.
This is a tricky business for project managers who do not understand how complexity (no matter how “small” the project) can affect success rates. Part of understanding a complex project is also understanding what success looks like ““ and what success looks like to the clients and stakeholders of the project.