‘One weird trick’ to bring project success

Think counter-intuitively if you want a real shot at winning, says Eddie Obeng

I recently saw a tweet that said: “Get your software development [project] back on track with this one weird trick. What would your weird trick be?” It got me thinking about the Netflix series Losers, which features stories about athletes who have failed to win. In sport, failure is the norm. In a 100m sprint there are seven losers and only one winner; two losers are given consolation prizes. Full success runs at only 12.5 per cent, which is comparable to the success rate of projects.

Losers showcases people who turned what looked like inevitable success into deepest failure. It made me think about failing projects, and what it takes to turn them around. In sport, progress is usually obvious and measurable. You can see who’s ahead of you, watch the skill of a competitor or look at the scoreboard. You can see if you are turning winning into losing. Project progress is more obscure because it requires winning in two different ways at the same time.Read more

This article originally appeared in the Spring 2020 issue of Project journal. You can read the latest digital issue of Project, free for APM members.

Posted by Edward Obeng on 12th Jun 2020

About the Author

Professor Eddie Obeng is an educator, TED speaker and author of nine books, including Perfect Projects, published by Pentacle Works, and All Change! The Project Leader’s Secret Handbook, published by the Financial Times.
Reach Eddie on Twitter @EddieObeng or read his blog: imagineafish.com

Image: Nejron Photo/Shutterstock

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