Are you doing the right project?

Street signsThe why? question is the most powerful in the PM’s armoury. Why are we doing this? Why do it that way? Why not try this? It’s valid throughout the life of the project. Let me tell you a little story:



How many times have you seen the proverbial bigger, specialist hospital being built when what was really needed was some focussed pipe mending? Doesn’t happen in real life? Wrong!. Here’s an example:

A major company had a problem with a key customer facing system. It kept falling over, and took a long time to recover. The solution? A new system on shiny new kit. Cost: £500m and 3 years to implement. A year or so in and the cost had risen to £750m and the timeline extended by a year.

The new CEO of operations asked why? When told about the reliability problems he checked his operational statistics. It seems that in the intervening year the old kit had been upgraded and the new hardware meant the system wasn’t falling over that often anymore. What’s more, on the rare occasion it did have a problem, it was recovered very quickly. So the project for the new system was cancelled and millions of investment redirected to far greater benefit.

If more PMs asked why, project delivery would be more aligned to real business needs. If you’d like your project managers to challenge more and then go on to deliver successful projects, sign up for my three part video series on selecting the right project management training programme for you orgnaisation. It’s completely free, just click on the image below to sign up.

3 pitfalls screen

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One comment on “Are you doing the right project?
  1. I couldn’t agree more! I wrote something very similar actually 🙂

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