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Is managing projects faster and easier the goal?

I read articles and blogs almost daily that promote new software technologies that are designed to help you quickly document your tasks, assign them to someone on the team, communicate effectively, and get activities done. Iterate and repeat. Sounds great, doesn’t it…. Maybe not.

When your project is about accomplishing a stated objective, isn’t it important to define the end goal? Does your organization need to know the costs before beginning execution? Should someone be looking out for risks that are about to explode?

According to the Project Management Institute, the global project management authority, “44% of strategic initiatives fail.” And, for every $1B that we spend on these projects, we irrevocably lose $109 million. You can read more here.

Let’s stop focusing on managing projects faster and easier, and start focusing on managing projects well. That begins with why we are doing them at all. Here is a great way to discover the why behind your project:

When the boss walks into your office and asks you to take on a new project and you ask why, the first response can often be something like — because I’m in charge. Digging past the initial response can be a challenge so it may help to create some possible answers that contradict one another and pose them as options. For example:

  • Are we moving our offices to get fancier executive suites? Or, are we aiming to co-locate teams in a bullpen for improved collaboration?
  • Are we building an inventory warehouse to expand inventory to ship product faster? Or are we planning on new technologies to turn inventory faster?
  • Are we developing a new strategic plan because changing technologies have made our products obsolete? Or are we developing the plan because our growth rate is so high that we can’t fund the growth internally?

Every project is different so you’ll have to think through the possible options.

To ensure project success, change your focus from managing projects faster and easier to managing projects well.

Stop focusing on managing projects faster and easier. Focus on managing projects well. Click To Tweet

First step: Find your project why.

Photo credit:Warrior Adventure Quest; by Sgt. 1st Class Raymond Piper; CC by 2.0;