Breaking the Cycle of Failure

After the firefights subside and a troubled project finally draws to a close, many organizations hold an inquiry into what went wrong. In theory, retrospectives help identify root causes so that subsequent projects can avoid repeating the same mistakes. In practice, despite the reviews, many organizations find they lurch from one troubled project and on to the next. In many cases this failure to learn can be traced to the narrow perspective from which reviews are usually done. More often than...
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The Sink Side of Sink or Swim

Everyone understands that moving from being a “doer” of things to being a “leader” of things can be a difficult transition to make. What gets less attention are the transitions that occur as people move from leadership roles in smaller projects to similar roles in larger projects. A number of troubled projects I’ve recently reviewed have suffered from problems as a result of people moving into roles for which they were poorly prepared. For the purpose of illustrating the types of issues invol...
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