Projects overrun. Missing deadlines. Way over budget. Hundreds of change requests!

Sound familiar?

If you’re like many organisations, it’s likely you have many Projects which fail to deliver or if they are delivered, deliver late, significantly over budget or not per original requirements. These things are a common occurrence in most businesses, for some its worse than others.

Why do Projects fail?

One of the most common reasons for project failure is related to communication problems. That is not enough communication, not enough visibility, visibility not in real time and so on. People often think this is where a PMO can help save the day! Except this isn’t a fairy-tale. PMOs are there to support, enhance and elevate Projects but we’re not magicians. Some PMOs fail too!

So, what can I do about it?

Before you implement a PMO that is inevitably set up for failure, before you invest money and resources to try to solve recurring project issues. Take some time to run your organisation through a capability assessment. The purpose of a capability assessment is to understand the gap between your current organisational capability and where you’d like to be once your maturity levels improve.

‘If I could tell you how many times an organisation or department implements or changes their PMO only to find that it doesn’t solve their existing problems.’

How can you fix something before you’ve truly identified the underlying issues? How can you improve upon something before you’ve had a chance to work out what’s caused the issues in the first place? How do you know if the changes you’re making will improve or worsen the situation?

Organisations that scale

Organisations, especially those who scale quickly are often building layer upon layer. They introduce new tools, new templates, new systems, new PMOs, new methodologies but seldom will this give you more efficiently run projects and programs. More times than not, I’ve seen tools or systems implemented, only to be removed and something new introduced a matter of months later. Why? Because its didn’t suit the organisations maturity level at the time.

‘Imagine building a new house, you need to assess the foundations, size, scale and capability of the teams building the house. This is the same when it comes to building aProject Delivery capability in your organisation.’

Final thoughts

So, before you spend more money on implementing new tools or systems, look deeply at your foundations. Assess where your organisations capability is at today. Capability and maturity levels can change time and time again. It’s important to assess your capability using a reliable means to give your organisation a baseline and a gap analysis for you to take forward.  Doing this one thing, I’m certain will save you time and money in the long term. Just like base-lining a project schedule, you should look at base-lining your organisations project capability before making endless changes to it. Otherwise how will you know if your changes will be worthwhile and not just a waste of time or money?

Do you agree?