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It’s a well-known fact that up to 75% of projects fail to deliver.

They are often late, over budget and don’t bring the ROI expected.

With that kind of average failure rate I’m sure we’ve all been involved in one or two projects that haven’t turned out as expected.

There are lots of reasons put forward to why this is the case. From poorly defined specifications to over ambitious timescales. For me, the biggest reason why most projects fail is that when the project group comes together there are too many of us!

Consulting widely is good practice in any project, but there is a temptation to add people to the core group on an incremental basis. There’s a safety in numbers by having everyone involved. Having additional people involved means that the small details might get picked up or someone might bring a point of view that no one else thought of.

But what actually happens as a result?

The increased number of voices around the table means that decisions don’t get made, milestones are missed, timescales get extended and budgets are blown!

Worse still, when it all goes wrong, the mass of people means individual accountability is impossible.

There is an inverse relationship between the number of people involved in a project and its likely success.

So if you want to make your projects a success, here are my thoughts on what you should do….

  1. Involve all stakeholders and get their input.
  2. Set clear timescales for when the input is required by.
  3. The closer you get to ‘go live’ date reduce the number of people involved.

This probably sounds difficult to do, after all this isn’t what everyone else would do. But if you don’t want to fall into the ‘there are too many of us’ trap, it’s the only thing to do.

About the song:

Taken from the band’s most recent album “The Magic Whip“, this song shows once again that Blur stretch themselves to explore their musical talents on a constant basis. This song is not Parklife or Country House revisited! Military drums and strings run through a song that builds and builds. The perfect accompaniment for Damon’s observational lyrics!

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