ProjectManagement.com – Fact or Fiction?

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Andy Jordan is President of Roffensian Consulting S.A., a Roatan, Honduras-based management consulting firm with a comprehensive project management practice. Andy always appreciates feedback and discussion on the issues raised in his articles and can be reached at andy.jordan@roffensian.com. Andy’s new book Risk Management for Project Driven Organizations is now available.

As you can probably imagine, I read a lot of material about project management. Some of the things I read really amaze me. I recently read an article (that was only published a few weeks ago) where the first sentence was, “Only 2.5% percent of companies successfully complete their projects.”

Say, what? There was no source cited for that claim, and it’s not exactly clear what was meant. If it’s supposed to imply that only 2.5% of projects succeed, then I have some (read: many) issues with it. If it’s supposed to say that only 2.5% of companies achieve success with all of their projects, then I’m more inclined to believe it; but without context, it’s meaningless. Unfortunately, some people will believe it (it’s from a somewhat reputable source, so will gain traction).

This is something that project managers face all the time. They receive information from their teams, from customers or their representatives, from the sponsor and from other stakeholders, and must act on that information. If the information provided is incomplete or inaccurate, then the wrong decisions may be made and the project will be destined to fail. If the information is unclear or misleading, then it needs to be interpreted, causing delays and potential misunderstanding.

At the same time, in today’s modern world there is pressure to act quickly, …

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