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Project Manager : Project Manager Feb Mar 2014
www.aipm.com.au Project Manager 21 value of investment, particularly in the current corporate environment where cost- cutting is the order of the day. Another pitfall is r ushing bene ts quanti cation, which can lead to inaccurate or in ated data. Changing the game ese factors make it considerably more di cult for project managers to do their jobs and, as a result, the profession will continue to be plagued by high project failu re rates. "It's like buying a car at a yard then nding it won't run," Sharpe says. Organisations can take steps to minimise the risk of project disasters occur ring. e rst step is to challenge the rigour of the bene ts that are being promised by sponsors. "You need to prepare for bene t life beyond the business case and take the time to properly benchmark what needs to change rst ... in order to challenge the reality and achievability of the bene ts claimed, then set up strong governance to watch whether the bene ts remain viable as the project unfolds," Sharpe says. In practice, Bryant encourages organisations to employ the 'optimism bias adjustments' technique, which recommends that estimates in a business case be empirically based using data from past projects or projects elsewhere, and the 'reference class forecasting' technique, which frames decisions so that they are based on more accurate infor mation about the distributions, actual odds and frequencies of events drawing on previous comparable processes. e latter technique is particularly e ective in reducing the impact of optimism bias and improving forecasting accuracy, Bryant adds. Meanwhile, Yorke directs his advice at project managers. He urges those who are faced with an unrealistic business case to simply knock back the project, describing as "unprofessional" those who take it on when they know the stated bene ts won't be realised. He says project managers can fall into the trap of trying to x aws in a business case, which can often exacerbate the problem. "[Project managers] can see a hole and try to x it themselves. " ey may dive into the detail if they come from a technical background, but then lose perspective so they're not looking ahead and leading the project, which is what they should be doing, and they continually end up re- ghting rather than dealing with the root cause." High-profile cases of benefits fraud illustrate how project managers have been implicated in a scandal despite their best efforts to save the day. The project managers at CenITex, for example, may have been victims of a deeply flawed business case. •• • FAILURE Standards Australia (2006). Case Studies: How Boards and Senior Management have Governed ICT Projects to Succeed (or Fail). Sydney: Standards Australia. of ICT projects are abandoned before completion. 15-28% of ICT projects experience some form of escalation, with cost overruns averaging 43-189%. 30-40% of projects are implemented without perceptible benefits. 30-40% 80-90% of ICT investments fail to meet their performance objectives. A REPUTATION FOR THE FIRST STEP IS TO CHALLENGE THE RIGOUR OF THE BENEFITS THAT ARE BEING PROMISED
Project Manager Dec Jan 2014
Project Manager Apr May 2014