Why Good Projects Fail

Topics: Project management, Work breakdown structure, Management Pages: 6 (1947 words) Published: April 28, 2013


1.Compare the traditional way of organizing projects with the rapid results initiative proposed in this blog. What are the differences between the two ways?2
Tabulation of differences:4
2.What are the main implications for the organization of the project if they adopt the rapid results initiative approach?5
3.Analyze the probable impact of this method on the three constraints of project management.5
Project Cost6
Project Time6
Project Performance6
4.Conclude by giving your opinion about its effectiveness.6


The key points to be noted from the text are as follows:

1. Projects may fail due to execution issues and not always the idea 2. Big projects, over half the time deliver disappointing results. 3. Traditional approach to Project management shifts focus from end result. 4. There is high possibility of critical tasks to be left off the project planning. 5. More often, “white space risk” and “integration risk” are neglected by project managers while calculating the overall risk of the project. 6. Rapid-results initiative (RRI) tests performed delivered results quickly. 7. RRIs are Results Oriented, work as Verticals encompassing several horizontal activities and produce Fast results. 8. Implemented for no more than 100 days, RRI’s produce greater results and help identifying gaps in risks assessed for projects.


1. Compare the traditional way of organizing projects with the rapid results initiative proposed in this blog. What are the differences between the two ways?

Traditional Approach of Project Management:

The traditional way of organizing projects involves key tasks identified by managers which will run over a period of time and will be integrated in the final phase of the project. The Project manager is responsible for identifying the High Risk related areas which will otherwise make the project fail during the integration or delivery phase. However, they white space and integration risks are not identified and accounted for.

The approach includes several horizontal activities that progress for longer periods of time, taken care of by different persons following the tasks defined by the Project Manager. The outcomes from each horizontal will be evaluated at the integration stage when the missing pieces in the whole project will be identified. This way, it is extremely difficult to make adjustments to the tasks defined earlier and account for the missed out risk factors.

We can compare this with the traditional Waterfall Model in the Software Development Life Cycle models were the Requirements Gathering, Analysis, Design, Implementation, Testing and Delivery processes follow one after the other as pre-defined by the project manager. In the projects that I have worked with during the initial stages of my career, most of them followed this approach. It always ended up in the same situation where several risk factors were not accounted for the project manager which were identified during the testing and integration phases and several issues identified by the customer after delivery. This has resulted in big projects failing on a severe note after the customers having spent huge amounts of money and time on the same.

The positive side of this model is that it has a more structured environment and supporting processes well in place.

Rapid Results Initiative approach:

The RRI is a method in which Project managers strive to achieve goals by experimenting in specific focus areas for a limited period of time (100) days. This process involves a cross functional effort, consolidating people from different horizontal processes and also the clients and working towards a visible goal in a specific timeframe which creates a lot of scope for innovation and learning. It is a challenging process, where team members work on different aspects of the project leading to...
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