Day 1 – Futurex Conference 2007 – Roger Layton on Project Failures

Topic: Project Failures Modes: Lessons from the Field

Roger Layton is a witty and inspirational speaker. The many years he spent lecturing and training comes through in the smooth delivery of his presentation. He is by far one of the best of the entire Futurex Conference speakers. In light of the eNatis failure people outside the Langlaagte Traffic Licensing stationed threatened to burn down the building. One of the major reasons is that the different stakeholders did not agree that there was a failure in the system. In that respect one could say that not communicating in itself is a failire.

So what is the basic premiss on project failures? Failure Avoidance!

Let us learn from other’s mistakes because this will improve our understanding of failure. Analysis of Google search on “Project Failure” identifies almost exclusively IT project failures. Engineering and other areas do not come up as frequently as IT project failures.

Roger’s definition of of “Failure” is the inability of the project to deliver the intended benefits to the identified stakeholders. Failure is also relative to project’s complexity. Looking at the track record of IT project the mainstream attitude or approach seems to be: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! The fear of failure of new systems overrides the need or value that can be derived from replacing old systems.

Some major failures mentioned is: MacDonald’s, IRS, National Health Service (UK) each spending hundreds of millions of dollars and in some cases billions!

Here’s my video post interview with Roger Layton:

And you can view his presentation here:


For more information contact Roger Layton and Associates via his website.

 

Author: RJ Thomas

RJ Thomas is an International Relationship Builder. He was born in South Africa, and moved to China in 2013.