Elizabeth Harrin writes a great blog called, A Girl's Guide to Managing Projects, Trying to Stay OTOBOS... (on time, on budget, on scope). Elizabeth's perspective on project failures is practical and informative, making her blog interesting to read.
Titles of several recent entries hint at her focus areas:
- Why do projects fail?
- Success criteria: how do you define success?
- Restructuring failing projects
- Defining failure
- A bald dog can teach us new tricks
Here's a quote from Project governance for Parliament:
The construction of the new Scottish Parliament building is a good example of how things can go so wrong on a project.
The innovative design was in its early stages when the procurement process started. Architects were bidding to deliver something within a specification of 20,740 m² and £50m. At this point, there were no guidelines on quality or timescale. The driving factors – those critical success criteria – had not been fully thought through. That’s not to say that the Scottish Office officials didn’t know what the project objectives were: they were to construct a new Parliament building. Lord Fraser’s report into the project says that the difficulties lay in establishing priorities . What was more important? These two specifications of size and cost, or quality and time? From the behaviour of the project team (in its largest sense), Lord Fraser concludes that actually time and quality were the two priorities, and cost was not really a concern. At this very early stage in the project, the procurement process was not done using a realistic budget estimate.
Practical, helpful analysis of IT project failures. What more could one want?