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Why Projects Fail

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I was doing a little research for this post and like every good writer these days I started with Google. I typed in "why projects fail" and came up with 16,700 entries. The first few pages were dominated with entries like "Top 10 Reasons Projects Fail" and "Why Projects Fail: Part 1." So what were some of the answers? Some articles blamed a lack of user involvement. Others said projects were started for the wrong reasons.

There was nothing related, however, to organizational fit or to measuring intangible benefits as part of your ROI. It made me wonder: Will the results of the Researching the Value of Project Management study change the way the profession thinks about project failure? Will things like the makeup of the organization--and how project management plays into that--become more important to a project's failure or success? And, how can organizations use the results to improve the way they achieve project results?

All good questions, right? And I hope to get the chance to ask the study's principal researchers, Janice Thomas, Ph.D., and Mark Mullaly, PMP, at PMI's North American Congress 2008 in Denver, Colorado, USA. It's coming up in October, and I hear they will be giving a special presentation on the research.

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