As my fellow project / programme managers know well, there are many ways to fail a project, and only a few ways to succeed in delivering the agreed scope on time and within the budget. During my career, I experienced several failures, and a few really huge ones, but many projects just worked out nicely! Sometimes it just goes wrong, and nothing can be done, but too often the failure was already inside the plan, obvious to the people involved, but we still drive straight into the wall. Why is that so? What are the worst traps?
According to my observations, here is what happens, pretty much every time:
Potential messengers, being otherwise perfectly aware of the situation, prefer, nevertheless, deliver inconsistent reporting to managers, who then prefer to sugar-coat it further, as it goes up the hierarchy ladder. Nobody wants to get shot delivering bad news! Hence opinions and politics prevail facts and data…
Driven by these repeated observations, Rosho.World’s scientific team has conducted fundamental research on effective decision-taking and governance. The surprising result came out of the improbable correlations with AI fundamental research. How is it possible that Artificial Intelligence inspires Human Intelligence?
When the autopilot of a machine needs to take a decision: go right, go left, slow down, accelerate, what actually happens? Two ways are offered: either it is looking through similar decisions in the past very quickly and comes up with a decision based on “experience”, using a learning process. Or it knows how to react in any new situation, because it has principles. These two approaches can and should be combined, but we understand already, that experience come with a high price and is no guaranty for success within unknown environments. Some naïve people think that if a machine reads all material available on a subject, it will be wise and take the right decisions, better than a Human, even. This is obviously b***t, and not even close to intelligence. Accumulating data is certainly helpful in schools or universities, but success in life is not specifically proportional with years of reading. Intelligence is the capability to react efficiently to new situations, not to old databases. It is the faculty of combining information in a new creative way that creates success.
So, principles are the efficient way forward, I am afraid! Let’s work on principles, then, but don’t throw all the old people with a lot of experience off the boat, not yet, we might still need them at some point, for example to validate stuff…
Lessons of today
If you want to succeed a project:
- Get the right reporting out of the source, where the actual knowledge is, not managers people like technical PMs & operational staff, avoiding the “shoot the messenger syndrome”
- Make the reporting reliable and undeniable for stakeholders, avoiding the “sugar coating” principle
- Inspire stakeholders to take data & fact-based decisions, instead of biased opinions
So, what are these four secrets of successful governance, before I forget to tell you about it? The first one is Purpose.
To be followed….