I have been a project manager and instructor for many years and in this capacity, I have often had to coach and/or mentor team members, especially junior project managers. I had never actually been trained in either coaching or mentoring, so I provided the kind of insight I would have liked to have gotten when I was starting out.
According to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) Sixth Edition, every project is “a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service or result.” It goes on to say, “the end is reached when the project’s objectives have been achieved …”1 Since the endeavor is unique and has, by definition, never been done before, there is an element of uncertainty, and in that uncertainty, there is risk.
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As a project management consultant, I frequently work with senior managers at the Director level and above. Currently, I am reporting to two C-level executives – the Chief Operating Officer of the consulting firm for whom I consult, and the Chief Technology Officer of the company where I am embedded. (Three, actually, if you count the VP who I am dotted-line reporting to on a particular cloud project.)
There is a myriad of reasons why projects fail but they often come down to certain repeatable issues which, left unsolved, will make it next-to-impossible to ever fully succeed. Here is a list of ten reasons we’ve found to recur in poorly run or failing projects.