I've wanted to write about the costs of poor project management for some time. I've wanted to get it square in my head because I think it includes some powerful ideas from which other people can benefit. Let's start right at the beginning. A cost is a price that is paid in return for something received.
Sometimes the price you pay seems low for what you receive, and this is a bargain or good value for money. Other times the price you pay is excessive for what you receive and you feel 'ripped off.' On occasion you pay for one thing and receive something different. Sometimes this works to your advantage, and other times you're left disappointed.
There are times where the price you pay doesn't reflect the real cost of the product or service you receive. On the surface it might seem you have received a bargain but let's say that if you knew that child labor was used to make your running shorts or other apparel, you probably won't enjoy wearing them.
Sometimes governments add additional taxes to the cost of goods or services for various reasons. Sometimes the taxes are imposed to reflect a real cost to society. For example, in the UK up to 88% of the price of a packet of cigarettes is taxation. We are told this extra tax revenue is used to pay for healthcare for people with smoking related diseases provided by the National Health Service (NHS).
What I would like to talk about today are the hidden, or unaccounted-for costs of project management. Think of these costs as the sweatshops or smoking related diseases associated with poor project management practice.