Mon. Jul 4th, 2022

I have been researching why TV programmes fail (more later – we are filming May) and it seems that failures are unfortunately more common than we would like to believe.
There is also a perception problem. Recently, I was interviewed about how the media portrays projects as failing. As any journalist will tell, interviewing talking heads about how monstrous the Scottish Parliament building is, and how it cost 10x the original budget, and was delivered late makes for a much more interesting story that the fact that it won the Stirling Prize for architecture.
What is a failure project? It all depends on the success criteria and tolerances that you set at the start of the project. I once delivered a project four-months late, but within budget and the required scope. The time delay was not a critical success criterion. So did the project ‘fail’? With your sponsor and your team, you will need to agree on the success criteria for your project.
The perception problem usually comes from outside of the project team. It is here that you will need to focus your efforts to explain to people why 50% of your project was overspent. This could happen if you work on a safety and health project, where money is not an issue. You just need to solve the problem to ensure everyone is safe.
Communication is what I believe contributes to a successful project and can turn around perceptions of a failed project. Some projects do fail, depending on how you interpret the word. You have to work hard to change public opinion!
Once I have sorted through my research and can share them with the rest of you, I will return to the topic of failing projects and what I can do about them.

By Adam