How to fail in project management – without really trying (Pinto & Kharbanda, 1996)

 How to ensure failure

Pinto, Jeffrey K.; Kharbanda, Om P.: How to fail in project management – without really trying; in: Business Horizons, Vol. 39 (1996), No. 4, pp. 45-53.

Since Pinto popularised the critical success factor and failure factor research, which established a large body of research I wanted to include this paper though it is a bit dated. Pinot & Kharbanda basically illustrate how one can ensure complete and utterly failure as an owner of an IT project:

  • Ignore the environment (espy. stakeholders)
  • Push a new technology in a market too quickly
  • Don’t bother building fall back options
  • When problems occur shoot the most visible one
  • Let new ideas starve to death by inertia
  • Don’t bother conducting feasibility studies
  • Never admit project is a failure
  • Over manage project managers and their team
  • Never ever conduct post-failure reviews
  • Never bother to understand project trade-offs
  • Allow political expediency and infighting dictate crucial project decisions
  • Make sure project is run by a weak leader

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