Strategic Project Success Rates – A road to nowhere?

Just over two years into an MBA you start to ask yourself questions, is this worth all the effort? Perhaps a masters in cooking would be easier and more lucrative.  Business management is difficult!  As I review the question “why are over 50% of all strategic projects failing?” I’ve hit a blank, are the strategic project success rates simply a road to nowhere? And endless pit of change with no mastery, no long-term success, no sustainable adding of value to organisation?

I encounter theory after theory, model after model and clever answers that could fill entire libraries. The challenge is; with all these clever answers around, why is the track record of strategic projects so poor? Success statistics from the invention of the modern day project (in the early 1960’s ) tell the same sad story, half of projects attempted fail (and are still failing).  What are we missing?

Today project and product education is at an all time time high, you find hundreds of books on expert strategic management and how to tame the proverbial project dragon, yet in the cold light of day, all this has affected the project success rate with exactly naught %. Do we continue along the same vein, introducing more and more processes, more and more education, more and more roles and responsibilities?

As we stand today, the primary method organisations deliver their strategies are through projects, perhaps its time to reconsider. We need to take a sober look at our project execution process and frameworks, not to try another ‘expert theory’ but rather to take onboard some of the knowledge and practical know-how that is being shared by our teams around the coffee pauses area’s and lunch rooms.

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