Lessons Learned are worth the effort!

The Canadian charity Engineers without Boarders is learning the way in looking at their projects openly, admitting what went wrong and sharing the lessons they learn through that process. That is a level of maturity many organizations don’t have – even if they have a process that says they do retrospectives or lessons learned. They say they have made more impact and reached more lasting goals because of this.  And they encourage others to do the same on http://www.admittingfailure.com

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Why do project failures still happen?

It is not just IT projects that fail but they are the ones that get the media attention.

We know the causes of project success (see Pinto and Slevin’s work on Critical Success Factors) or the causes of IT project failure (see the United Kingdom’s Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology report – know as POSTNote 200 July 2003). One really useful paper on the topic is The Causes of Project Failure by Jeffrey K. Pinto and Samuel J. Mantel, Jr. (IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, Vol. 37, No. 4. November 1990)

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