Poor Process or Poor Execution

Poor Process or Poor Execution

I have used both conventional approaches to projects, as well as agile.  In fact, i have used some of the agile techniques in conventional projects with success. I know, anecdotal but perhaps an interesting anecdote.

Conventional projects have had considerable high failure reported (Standish Group Studies for example).  The problem become, why these conventional projects fail.  For example, I have been on projects where the project manager is seldom seen, where conventional project processes are ignored or executed poorly.  There can be many reasons for failure, poor process, poor execution or poor strategy, can end in the same failure.  It is like a play in football, if the offense executes it well, we may get a touchdown. If we have not play, or execute a good play poorly, we might fail in both cases.

So the question becomes what is the root cause of the failure? For example, I wonder how the strategy was selected for the failed conventional approaches, poor strategy could ultimately mean poor outcome or failure, and in that case simply changing how we execute the project may not change the outcome.

In my experience with Agile (Scrum) we have a dedicated (time secured not necessarily in attitude) team.  Consequently, my conventional project management experience is the project manager and team members may have other projects upon which they work.  This is not a conventional project management doctrine, but unique incarnations or inclinations of the individual project manager, management or the individual companies. Would we then say this type of failure was due to conventional project approaches?   Of course not.  The point is, if conventional project failure rates are higher, it might not be the formal process but the often ad hoc approach or errant application of these project management processes.

Nowhere in conventional project management approaches, is it recommended distracting the project manager and team members with an over load of work on a variety of projects.

Nowhere in conventional project management is the project manger instructed to sit in their office and not spend time with their team understanding the daily activities and trials that the project must endure.

Nowhere in conventional project doctrine will you find “counsel” to detail plan month and even a year out in the future.  these are blemishes that are borne out of poor project management knowledge, and poor execution.  if these sorts f things are the reason for the failures, then they should be corrected.  I have seen conventional approaches work as well as Scrum both are viable approaches, but poorly done both will produce similar outcomes, poor.

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