The Standish Chaos report about why projects succeed and fail contains a real nugget. You might be surprised by this breakdown of opinions about why a project succeeds.
Half of the respondents chose one of these three reasons: User involvement, Executive management support, or Clear statement of requirements.
A quarter of the respondents chose from this set of good project management practices: Realistic expectations, Smaller project milestones, Ownership, or Clear vision & objectives.
Only a small portion – a tenth – of the respondents felt that ‘Proper Planning; was the reason projects succeed. About another tenth felt that ‘hard working, focused staff’ and ‘competent staff’ are the keys to success.
Isn’t that interesting?! What does this say about the ‘hero’ culture wherein we hope that one amazing project manager can rescue a project, or bring it to a successful conclusion. And our project management abilities to plan things out is not the key either. Instead, success derives from the whole network of people involved, and how clear the goals are to everyone.