Why do projects fail? And what can project managers do to eliminate projects failure? What is the key challenge project managers of today are facing in the downstream business? Is it not “the million dollars question”?!
We talked to Frank-Peter Rische, an expert with 25 years of experience in EPC projects worldwide, and a keynote speaker at Downstream Project Management about this and happy to share his answer.
The key challenge that project managers are facing today is the lack of professionalism in our organizations, which certainly is linked with the lack of well qualified and well experienced resources – on all levels of the organization, from bottom to top executives.
There are deficiencies in our organizations, in our processes and methods, and in our IT-tools that shall support our work, but often hinder us. These deficiencies need to be corrected, but few organizations invest in external assessments and external benchmarks that would easily uncover these deficiencies. And even fewer convert the knowledge about identified deficiencies into corrective actions that are sustainable and effective. Stock listed companies tend to think from one quarterly report to the next, and miss a long-term strategy, and avoid investments where the ROI is years ahead. May-be this is the story behind the success of (some) private owned companies, or (some) Chinese companies that strategically plan long ahead.
We lack well trained and experienced resources, and we lack people with the appropriate mindset, to take responsibility, to act as a team, to support transparency and trust. We need to train our people, in project management and other subject matter competencies as well as in behavioral skills; we need daily time in our squeezed schedule to transfer the know-how, and we need continuous coaching. We need managers that lead by example and that enable people rather than micro-manage them. All this creates the culture of change that this business urgently needs.
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