Home » Tracking » Can We Be Flat Out Wrong Two Weeks Before Project Completion?

Flat Our Wrong Two Weeks Before Project Completion“Clearly, the estimate that it was ready to go Oct. 1 was just flat-out wrong,” she said Sunday. “If I had a magic wand and could go back to mid-September and ask different questions based on what I know now.” I would, she said. “I thought I was getting the best information from the best experts, but clearly that didn’t go well . … “Could we have used more time and testing? You bet.” Sebelius says timeline for ObamaCare rollout ‘flat out wrong’ , AP, April 14,2014

Two weeks before a mega-project is complete and we have no indications that the project is in trouble?  Knowing two weeks earlier, people suddenly admitting things are not good, would not have helped a project.  Not even with a magic wand. Telling our boss, on a project two weeks from delivery, that we only now just figured out that it would not be ready — is not convincing.  So at three weeks before completion it was just fine?  Probably not, at least not in my experience.

For more in depth see If Nothing Else Honesty Is Just More Efficient

If we are brutally honest in our tracking and reporting, then we will know if a project will be on time many months before it is due to be delivered.  In just about all of the troubled mega projects I’ve been involved in, we could see problems within the first few months as the project missed early major milestones.

Senior managers who say they didn’t get good information are managers who are probably not involved enough in the project. Many of these same managers directly or indirectly encourage only the reporting of optimistic or positive progress. With this approach they are either successful, the project delivered on time, or they can say they were “lied to” and hence they were not responsible.

See also A “Successful Manager” But Never A Successful Project

Are your reasons for projects not delivering on time with good quality just the same collection of excuses that were seen in past failed projects?

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