Why It’s Not Okay to Lie About Project Failure

Jul 10, 2021 2 min read
Why It’s Not Okay to Lie About Project Failure

What does project success really mean? In this post, the Lazy Leader argues that it is often much more than simply managing project benefit viability.

Increasingly, organizations are facing transformational change and projects have become the means of choice for implementing such change. However, there is a prevalent concern with projects because a good deal of fail to deliver even though project management best practices appear to be used.

Success is not final, failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts. – Winston Churchill

Project management best practices do not guarantee project success, nor does their absence guarantee failure.

Yet, their presence should increase the likelihood of success. So, what should you be doing about this? And how successful are your projects?

When is it okay to claim project success when the project didn’t go to plan?

This all depends on where you’re sitting in the organization and how much detail you want to take in. For instance, does your organization report project success when you know (or feel) differently?

When implementing cultural change, absolute success isn’t always paramount, but perceptions generally are! Let me try to explain…

Some executives view projects like a car journey guided by a sat-nav system; it doesn’t matter how many wrong turns we make along the way because we eventually reach the destination. As the satnav adjusts the odometer, and you always arrive as the odometer and clock display zero, project sponsors use the latest forecasts when celebrating success.

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