Projects often fail to deliver on their original objectives because they operate as a collusion of mediocrity.
In order to avoid discomfort DURING the project, challenge of the non-delivery against objectives is diluted or minimised. It becomes ok to delay and not to deliver on objectives. Only when crisis point is reached are issues honestly raised, often where accountability reaches people who stabd to be humilated or professionally underminded by the continued non-achievement.
Non-achievement is also seen as a norm and raising the issue of lateness or non-delivery is seen as a “betrayal”, a form if slimey whistleblowing, often called “grassin up” in the UK.
Often the raising ofnon-achievement as an issue is also collectively seen within a collusion of mediocrity as “misery-making” or being unecessarily negative. This is because projects are time-based and the “future is always in doubt”, so “why raise the issue now and make everyone uncomfortable”?
At the design phase of a project a number of collusive behaviours can undermine successful project completion:
– setting the goals and performance criteria too low
– being too ambitious and idealistic with project goals and performance measures
– selecting a project management framework that is inherently collusive
– failing to challene the appropriateness of the resource model
– failing the challenge the human resources allocated to the project, including project leader/champion
– failing to design in “consequences of non-delivery”