That Headline Needs a Punchline

CIO magazine offers an article entitled How to Spot a Failing Project; that begs for a punchline, such as The client is still paying the bills, unlike a failed project, where the client has stopped paying the bills.

I can’t really find too much fault for the actual information in the article that identifies symptoms, including a lot of overtime/resources throw at the project, a lack of communication among project members, missed milestones, and so on. However, these are mere symptoms that let you identify when something is off the rails, but doesn’t really explain what you should do–take the legal hit of breaching the contract? Buy some of the project management tools from the people interviewed for the story?

Probably the latter.

However, most of those steps apply to most projects, including the ones that don’t fail (and by “don’t fail,” we mean “end and the customer pays anyway”). So we thought we would provide with an additional set of signs you can use to spot a failing project:

  • Another project manager commits seppuku.
  • QA walks around snickering or smiling.
  • The coffeepot in the communal pot has begun to have a Ritalin flavor.
  • The account directors show up in a neck brace from rigorous nodding in agreement with irritated clients.
  • Developers are seeking work visas for Tuvalu.

No Responses to “That Headline Needs a Punchline”

  1. DarkStar Says:

    If the project manager commits seppuku, the developers are likely to commit oibara. This will leave Project Mangagement AND Development in the hands of the QA professional. Not that an Account Executive wouldn’t be there to help, but no doubt their approach would be to reassign the work to QA.

    But hey… with fewer technical folks around to work on the project, the budget won’t be overrun nearly as quickly, giving the Account Manager more time to come up with explanations and work-arounds for the customer…. so this just might work….


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