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Project Management, Denial, and the Death Zone by Grant Avery

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8

The Death Zone

“We would only stay there for as little time as was absolutely necessary, because whilst there our bodies would ‘die a little every day’.”

Ranulph Fiennes on his climb into the death zone, Everest 2005 (from his book entitled Cold)

The death zone is that region of portfolio risk appetite where the ambitions of projects exceed an organization’s portfolio, program, and project management (P3M) capabilities by a significant amount. Repeated international studies (refer to Chapter 5) tell us that as many as a third of all projects operate in this zone. They are often larger or more complex than their sponsoring organizations are experienced in managing. The hazards of operating in the death zone are great—underperformance is a ...

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