All too often, executives are caught by surprise when projects — particularly complex IT projects — run into trouble. Project participants can be overconfident, always put a positive spin on anything they report or even have a cultural propensity to be silent in the face of bad news.
But “complex IT projects do not fail overnight; they fail one day at a time, and generally only after numerous warning signs.”
That’s according to Mark Keil, H. Jeff Smith, Charalambos L. Iacovou and Ronald L. Thompson, authors of “The Pitfalls of Project Status Reporting,” in the Spring 2014 issue of MIT Sloan Management Review.
Leaders can avoid unhappy project status surprises if they understand how — and why — people avoid sharing bad news.