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Why Projects Fail + Four Steps to Succeed

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Why Projects Fail + Four Steps to Succeed

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Understand why digital and IT projects fail and discover four simple project management tips to succeed.

Topics covered:
- Agile Decision Making
- The OODA Loop
- Clear Direction & Common Goals
- Defining Requirements
- Forming Your Project Team

Understand why digital and IT projects fail and discover four simple project management tips to succeed.

Topics covered:
- Agile Decision Making
- The OODA Loop
- Clear Direction & Common Goals
- Defining Requirements
- Forming Your Project Team

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Why Projects Fail + Four Steps to Succeed

  1. 1. WHY PROJECTS FAIL + FOUR TIPS TO SUCCEED Presented by: Kevin Wordon Digital Transformation Leader Australia
  2. 2. McKinsey & Company AND UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD STUDY Study of 5,400 large scale IT projects across the world. Average budgets of $13 million.
  3. 3. 70% 45% 17% 56% 70% of organisations suffered at least one project failure in the last 12 months Failed to deliver Posed a severe company threat 17% of projects went so badly that they threatened the very existence of the company Significantly over budget 45% of projects ended well over budget with 7% also over time. Delivered less value 56% of all projects delivered less value than predicted at planning stage.
  4. 4. WHY DO Projects FAIL? A project is considered a failure when it has not delivered what was required, in line with expectations. Therefore, in order to succeed, a project must deliver to cost, to quality, and on time; and it must deliver the benefits presented in the business case.
  5. 5. PROJECT FAILURE POOR DECISION MAKING Poorly timed decisions and too many stakeholders often delay or derail projects. 1 LACK OF CLEAR GOALS OR VISION Failure to understand the why results in failure to deliver what the business needs. 2 UNCLEAR REQUIREMENTS Unclear, vague and conflicting requirements can dramatically increase costs and time. 3 PROJECT TEAM ISSUES Poor team dynamic, lack of expertise, and poor management can often hinder success. 4
  6. 6. DECISION MAKING Stay committed to your decisions, but stay flexible in your approach.
  7. 7. Understanding the varying levels of PROJECT Decision Making Understanding the complex reality that technology team’s face requires us to go beyond the relatively simple “task centric” view and look at projects in an entirely different way BUILDING A HOUSE PHYSICAL ACTIVITY Information acquisition Decision Making KNOWLEDGE TRANSFER
  8. 8. CONDUCTING A CENSUS PHYSICAL ACTIVITY Information acquisition Decision Making KNOWLEDGE TRANSFER Understanding the varying levels of PROJECT Decision Making
  9. 9. PHYSICAL ACTIVITY Information acquisition Decision Making KNOWLEDGE TRANSFER PUBLIC EDUCATION PROJECT Understanding the varying levels of PROJECT Decision Making
  10. 10. PHYSICAL ACTIVITY Information acquisition Decision Making KNOWLEDGE TRANSFER TECHNOLOGY PROJECT Understanding the varying levels of PROJECT Decision Making From strategy development all the way through to developing code decision making is the primary activity that absorbs the majority of effort that goes into an IT project.
  11. 11. AGILE DECISION MAKING THE OODA LOOP The phrase OODA loop refers to the decision cycle of observe, orient, decide, and act, developed by military strategist and USAF Colonel John Boyd.
  12. 12. According to Boyd, decision-making occurs in a recurring cycle of observe-orient-decide-act. An entity (whether an individual or an organization) that can process this cycle quickly, observing and reacting to unfolding events more rapidly than an opponent, can thereby "get inside" the opponent's decision cycle and gain the advantage. AGILE DECISION MAKING THE OODA LOOP
  13. 13. AGILE DECISION MAKING THE OODA LOOP OBSERVE Quickly observe and document what is unfolding within the organisation or project. ORIENT Analyse and understand information gathered and then assess its potential impact on business DECIDE People need to be empowered to make decisions at the lowest practical level. Provide implicit guidance and control. Anticipate surprises and external /environmental influences. Your team should challenge existing customs and beliefs and strive to avoid complacency. If the decision does not cause irreversible resource impacts there is a case for acting first to see if the proposed change works. ACT Find ways to act quickly. Avoid silos and grass root resistance. Be aware of funding. Decentralisation can help, as can encouraging informal cross-functional networks.
  14. 14. CLEAR DIRECTION & COMMON GOALS “Fuzzy business objectives, out-of-sync stakeholders, and excessive rework” mean that 75% of project participants lack confidence that their projects will succeed. 2011 Geneca study of 600 people involved in software development projects.
  15. 15. Gather your team, find out what you are supposed to do and the specifics to get it done. Translate the vision Develop a fair incentive scheme to reward team members. Continually encourage innovation and best practice. INCENTIVISE the vision Build a feedback loop and a minimalist steering committee with key stakeholders and SME. Steer the vision Don’t get caught up in the day-to-day management of your project and forget to sell to your constituents. Sell the vision SHARED VISION AND DIRECTION “Of all the things I’ve done, the most vital is coordinating the talents of those who work for us and pointing them towards a certain goal.” Walt Disney
  16. 16. CHANGE Advocates Source key SME (Subject Matter Experts) who can be turned into advocates of change post project implementation “Managing changes in a large organization has been compared to re-engineering an aircraft while it's in flight”
  17. 17. CLEAR Requirements “No matter how good the team or efficient the methodology, if we’re not solving the right problem, the project fails.” Woody Wilson
  18. 18. Defining your requirements You can’t truly solve a problem until you truly understand the nature of the problem you’re solving. Every project needs a starting point. Defining initial requirements quickly will speed up commencement. DEFINE initial requirements Provide high level project outcomes to the business. Leave the finer details with the project team. COMMUNICATE OUTCOMES Empower project lead to “park” trivial, but often resource consuming requirements. Be open to change and agility. ENCOURAGE AGILITY Utilise your steering committee and SMEs to approve critical requirement changes quickly. FOSTER PROJECT INCLUSION
  19. 19. How communication transcends from requirements to delivery
  20. 20. DREAM TEAM A KPMG (NZ) survey of 100 businesses found that 78% of respondents believed that team dynamics played an important role in the failure or success of their projects.
  21. 21. THE PAC PRINCIPLE Find people who want to be on the project, have the necessary skills to appropriately complete the project, and have the time available to focus on the job at hand. 1. PASSION People who have some passion for the project and its outcomes. 2. ABILITY People that have the ability to do the work that is required to successfully complete the job 3. CAPACITY Ensure team members have the time to focus on tasks and are not overloaded
  22. 22. Take ownership Share knowledge and experience Customer centric mindset Strive for continuous improvement Can be agile where required Behave with integrity Hold each other accountable Continually provide and value feedback TEAM VALUES Ability to quantify & rationalise decisions
  23. 23. SUMMARY MAKE AGILE DECISIONS FORM A COMMON VISION DEFINE CLEAR REQUIREMENTS BUILD YOUR DREAM TEAM “A project is complete when it starts working for you, rather than you working for it” Scott Allen
  24. 24. THANK YOU REACH OUT au.linkedin.com/in/kevinwordon twitter.com/kevinwordon slideshare.net/KevinWordon

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