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Over the course of more than 30 years in the international ICT-world Lex has seen, and rather often experienced, a wide variety of issues during many projects. During Lex's IBM Global Services career Lex has been acting as a Crisis Manager especially in projects at external clients.

Do you recognise this? 

  1. The requirements are ambiguous, incomplete, inconsistent, not SMART and are not properly managed. This results in all kinds of discussions, increases costs and a lot of time is lost.

  2. The expectations of the client(s)/stakeholders have not been documented and agreed. This causes dissatiisfaction and all kinds of discussions regarding functionality and costs especially at the final project phase.

  3. The end users don't accept the delivered system because it doesn't fullfil their requirements/wishes. She don't feel themselves heard nor seen and have not been involved during the requirements definition and system testing. People are involved too late or not at all in the project.

  4. The project is 'out of control' both regarding costs as well as what is going to be delivered. This implies that what is being delivered at the end is considerably less than what had been agreed initially. Stakeholders are unsatisfied and relationships are at stake.

  5. During project execution it turns out that the 'business case' and/or the 'solution design' are incomplete, not SMART and inconsistent. Assumptions have been documented insufficiently which causes all kinds of nasty surprises to pop up. This results in unpleasant discussions and damages the trust of the stakeholders that the project will be successful.

  6. The project planning is based on 'wishful thinking' and not on reality because of pressure by eg. Executive Management. During project execution it becomes visible that the planning is not feasible. The stakeholders have lost their trust and the pressure on the project team increases a lot which in turn results in people dropping out. When people are dropping out this increases the pressure on the remaining people even more.

  7. Change Management is not executed properly. Changes are arranged on the fly directly with the developers without tuning and approval by the Project Manager. While no impact analysis has been performed this causes issues with other parts of the system.

  8. Not all stakeholders are supporting the project and have given their commitment. Some stakehoders have a double agenda and other (personal) interests with the project. Ego issues.

  9. Project startup costs a lot of time, money and energy. 

  10. Every Project Manager has his/her own methodology, project organisation, approach, project file structure, etc. The same mistakes are made in different projects. Lack of standardisation. Taking over projects during illness/vacation is difficult. Time consuming and damages trust of stakeholders. There is no Project Management Office.

  11. Project rapporting is time consuming. Composing financial/changes/issues/risks overviews is taking too much time and the overviews are not reflecting the current situation. This frustrates the client, Executive Management, Project Management and the team. The trust level is low and causes brand damage of the supplier.

  12. Outsourcing work to low wages countries is not running smoothly and much more expensive than originally budgetted. There is much more time needed on the outsourcing organisation side than originally budetted which also applies to the costs. Problems are directly visible by the client due to the lower quality of the deliverables and the planning is rather often not realised. Meetings with people from countries such as India en Ukraine are hard due to language and cultural issues. This results in misunderstandings which lead to delays, not being delivered what had been agreed and frustrations on both sides.

  13. The datacommunication connections are slow and unreliable which has a negative impact on eg. remote conference meetings. Access to client networks is causing huge discussions regarding security and turns out to be very complex from a legal point of view and very time consuming.

  14. The transfer to the management organisation is experienced by the management organisation as the deliverables are 'thrown over the wall'. The deliverables have been tested unsufficiently. Documentation is missing or incomplete. The management organisation is confronted with issues of the end users which should have been solved during the project. The management organisation cannot meet the Service Level Agreements which is results in penalties by the client. Which organisation takes the costs to be compliant with the Service Level Agreements?
    It is unclear who is responsible for the list of open items and who is taking the associated costs. 

  15. The people are not motivated but a number of them is frustrated. They have not been involved in the planning are confronted with an unrealistic planning. People are involved, not committed and are not showing the energy that is required to make this project a success. The team spirit is poor, nu humor but cynical remarks. People are present and that is about it.

Do you recognise one or more of the above mentioned issues: please don't hesitate to contact Lex for a non-binding conversation: Lex van der Heijden, PMP, Prince2