Introduction

What Constitutes a Project and Why Do They (Sometimes) Fail?

A very opinionated Chief Executive once told me why projects fail: “Incompetence! Just incompetent planning and management.” Like all generalizations, there is some truth in this judgment, but the problem is not what incompetence is, but rather what it does. Many failed projects have been managed by intelligent, trained people but I would claim that they were managing an enterprise that was inherently flawed, or would become flawed, because it breached one or more of the laws described in this book.

A project in the commercial world can be defined as a transient, managed, collaborative enterprise; a series of tasks usually employing several different contractors, trades, ...

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