What went wrong (Symposium 0123)


10:50 - 11:50 on Wednesday, 8 September 2010 in Room B63


123 What went wrong?
Tom Franklin, Su White, Hugh Davis, Maggie McPherson


123 What went wrong?
Tom Franklin, Su White, Hugh Davis, Maggie McPherson
Many projects fail to deliver everything that they originally intended to. There are many reasons for this, but there are differing perspectives on what a project should deliver, so that the project holders may see it as a success while the funders might not. This symposium will explore some of the ways in which projects go wrong from a variety of different perspectives including those of project manager, funder and user. Tolstoy almost said "Successful projects are all alike; every unsuccessful project is unsuccessful in its own way". However, there are common patterns that lead to projects being less successful than hoped for. These include: mismatch of expectations between different stakeholder groups, mismatch between development and service delivery, changes in the technological or political environment, the nature of the funding and being over- or under-ambitious. We will present some of the reasons that projects fail, and canvas further reasons from the audience in order to identify important causes that can be addressed in order to ensure projects go right. While the symposium presenters are all from Higher Education the examples will be drawn from research council, JISC and European funded projects, and the lessons are applicable everywhere. Starting with brief presentations from different perspectives (programme manager, project holder, user) we will outline some of the common, and preventable, reasons for projects to fail. (20 minutes).Following this we will invite the attendees to present their own stories of projects that have not met their expectation, and why this was so. Speakers will able to do this anonymously if they so wish. Together we will look at some of these and how the problems might be overcome. (30 minutes). Finally, we will work together to learn lessons and understand how we can overcome some of the problems that have been encountered in order to deliver more successful projects. (30 minutes). Participants will have been able to reflect on some of the causes of project failure and identify some methods for addressing these in order to ensure that their projects are more successful and not examples for a future ’What went wrong?’ symposium.