The views expressed in this article are strictly those of Max Wideman.
The contents of the book under review are the copyright property of the author.
Published here August 2021

Introduction | Book Structure | What We Liked | Book's Purpose
Obstacles to Project Success | The 10 Principles of Project Success
Downside | Conclusion

Obstacles to Project Success

Antonio says that his research shows that the traditional functional company's poor project management skills,[20] and the resulting poor project performance, can be linked to 7 main obstacles:[21]

  1. Absence of uniform methods and standard processes
    The existence of a well-defined project management methods and processes — referred to as the project management "methodology" — identifies those companies that have the best chance of consistently delivering satisfactory project results.[22]
  2. Misalignment of organizational structures with the company's changing reality
    The alignment and balance of the organizational structure need to reflect the shift towards change-the-business activities. More often than not, management underestimates or completely ignores this requirement.[23]
  3. Lack of appropriate governing structure to support strategy execution
    The absence of the right governing structure is another important reason why traditional hierarchical organizations have difficulty supporting and following up on strategy execution.[24]
  4. Lack of a project execution culture, skills and leadership attention
    Many companies lack a clear execution culture, an omission closely linked to the fact that many senior executives ignore the full potential of project management.
  5. Complexity of tracking and forecasting project costs, financials and benefits
    It is well known that "What gets measured gets done". However, what gets measured easily is much more likely to be deemed important.[25] Nevertheless, if you want to get something done, then measure it!
  6. Inadequacy of systems and tools for monitoring strategy execution
    Company shareholders, boards and even financial analysts rarely demand detailed information about the key projects and change-the-business activities once the investment decision has been made.[26]
  7. Lack of focus
    Collectively, the problems associated with how organizations manage their portfolio and projects within it may be described as a lack of focus. Being focused is difficult and requires discipline.[27]

To which we might added:

  1. Lack of a detailed business plan to justify the project in the first place.
    In other words, a failure to work through the front-end Ideation Phase, which is what the "Principle" chapters of this book are all about.
Book's Purpose  Book's Purpose

20. And that includes most levels of government operations.
21. Ibid, p25-26
22. Ibid, p26
23. Ibid, p27
24. Ibid, p28
25. Ibid, p29
26. Ibid, p30
27. Ibid, p31
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