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TPSIG Web Seminar Series Real-Life Projects www.rlprj.com Sponsored By: What is "Failure" Anyway? Alex S. Brown, PMP IPMA-C Real-Life Projects, Inc. President.

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Presentation on theme: "TPSIG Web Seminar Series Real-Life Projects www.rlprj.com Sponsored By: What is "Failure" Anyway? Alex S. Brown, PMP IPMA-C Real-Life Projects, Inc. President."— Presentation transcript:

1 TPSIG Web Seminar Series Real-Life Projects Sponsored By: What is "Failure" Anyway? Alex S. Brown, PMP IPMA-C Real-Life Projects, Inc. President & Owner December 4, 2007

2 TPSIG Web Seminar Series December 3, 2007 Our Speaker, Our Sponsor Real-Life Projects, Inc. When you don't have time to waste... Alex S. Brown, PMP IPMA- C

3 TPSIG Web Seminar Series December 3, 2007 Agenda: What is Failure? What other people are telling us Some stories of failure Why failure is essential Coming to our own definition of failure

4 TPSIG Web Seminar Series December 3, 2007 Poll According to what people tell you, what percentage of projects fail?

5 TPSIG Web Seminar Series December 3, 2007 Standish CHAOS Study Widely quoted, but ask, WHY? Created by consultants Not repeatable Usually quoted inaccurately For more, see Robert L. Glass, IT Failure Rates, 70% or 10-15%

6 TPSIG Web Seminar Series December 3, 2007 Breaking It Down Standish study all projects or just IT? Same results every year or no? Did 84% of projects fail according to the 1994 study?

7 TPSIG Web Seminar Series December 3, 2007 Real Results from 1994 Study 31% canceled at some point during the development cycle 53% challenged -- completed, but over budget, over schedule, OR with fewer features 16% success -- on-time, on-budget, all features initially specified

8 TPSIG Web Seminar Series December 3, 2007 Some Challenged Projects I Wish I Had Run Windows 95 Sydney Opera House The Challenger Space Shuttle Launch If someone had done the right thing and canceled it, saving reputation and lives... Actually, ANY software release by Microsoft, Netscape, AOL, or any innovator

9 TPSIG Web Seminar Series December 3, 2007 What is Failure? Is it Over budget Late Not according to spec Or is it something else?

10 TPSIG Web Seminar Series December 3, 2007 New Poll What percentage of your own projects do you consider to be a failure? What percentage of your own projects failed, in your own view?

11 TPSIG Web Seminar Series December 3, 2007 My Favorite Failed Project Working for Merrill Lynch Launch of Merrill Lynch Direct Hundreds of programmers working to a fixed deadline Small portion of the job was getting a kiosk in every sales office...

12 TPSIG Web Seminar Series December 3, 2007 As a Project Manager, Did I Fail? Delivered no results But... Minimized impact to the company Kept good relationship with sponsor Allowed business people time to decide Was ready if it had gone forward Failure? Not by my definition!

13 TPSIG Web Seminar Series December 3, 2007 So What is Failure? Dictionary will not help you here Need your own definition Here is mine Unethical conduct Harms human life Harms company Hurts strategic position

14 TPSIG Web Seminar Series December 3, 2007 Different Definitions for Different Companies Risk-taker? Maybe success is trying! Conservative? Maybe success is incremental improvement! Often success is profit Time horizon for measuring success varies by company

15 TPSIG Web Seminar Series December 3, 2007 What is Failure? I cannot tell you. It is a decision each one of us needs to make for him or herself. Perhaps someday when a study says, 80% of projects failed, we will say, Who cares? Instead of, Sign me up for that lecture!

16 TPSIG Web Seminar Series Real-Life Projects Sponsored By: Troubled Projects SIG Alex S. Brown, PMP IPMA-C Real-Life Projects, Inc.


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