We normally define project failure in terms of time, money and specification. A typical end-of-project report will state that the project was late, cost too much or failed to meet the users’ requirements. The National Audit Office reports on public sector projects that fail to meet these criteria.
In organisational change projects, however, this misses the key issue: how did the project improve the organisation’s performance? In other words, what were the benefits?
Many organisations pay lip service to benefits. Before we initiate our projects, we normally ask if the project is “worthwhile” or if it “stacks up”. Someone will often try to justify the project. Projects are often approved because of the persuasiveness and authority of the individuals pushing the idea.