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5 Reasons Projects Fail: #1 Elusive resource management

This is the final post in a 5-part series. To see the last post on “Organizational Rigidity”, click here.

The #1 reason projects fail has been a thorn in the side of project and portfolio management throughout the entire history of the field.

The daily operations of an organization revolve around executing initiatives to achieve the corporate vision. To get where you’re trying to go, you need to do the right projects and do the projects right. Doing the right projects is the goal of project portfolio management (PPM), and doing the projects right is the goal of project management. These two entities, then, are the foundation for accomplishing the organizational mission.

An optimized plan is one where everything that is known accounted for. For this reason, a schedule has no credibility if it doesn’t balance resource demand against capacity. So really the keystone that holds together project management and PPM is resource management.

Have you ever experienced a project where the necessary resources aren’t available at the project start date? It’s Day 1, and your project is already off course! That’s a problem with resource management.

The reason this happens so often is because few organizations have cracked resource management. As easy as it is in theory (compare demand against capacity), it’s a nightmare in practice. There’s already a methodology on how to collect estimates that has been in use for years in the engineering realm.

The problem, though, is a lack of rigor and a lack of appreciation for the ROI around tracking this seemingly basic information. It takes a lot of capacity just to estimate capacity. Demand then has to be updated based on the capacity, and it takes even more capacity to keep up with that.

The result is a never-ending ouroboros that has haunted organizations that jump into the process with unrealistic expectations from low-investments. We’ve argued before that AI might be the key to finally unknotting this blockage to project success.

For a free copy of our white paper Eliminating Project Failure: Creating a Culture of Project Perfection, go here.

<- Reason #4: Organizational rigidity

Reason #1: Weak project charters -> 

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