Most projects don’t collapse sensationally.
They collapse slowly.
But you wouldn’t know that just by sitting in the steering meetings or reading monthly project status reports.
Same way, businesses, families, societies, and even countries collapse. Slowly.
The good and bad thing about this is it involves people.
Most people have a tendency to respond attentively only to urgency. People take massive actions when encountered with an urgency.
If we change our learning systems, perhaps, people’s tendencies can be altered to respond to important stuff instead. But, who knows when our learning systems will change?
To combat with such slow collapsing, most project managers take an unsubtle, wider shot: A team revamping program or totally redesigned collaboration software.
The solution, more probably than not, is to consistently stop the slippage. To continuously improve the uninteresting stuff (e.g. how people respond to newly discovered information in project discussions and how they can do it even better).
Projects fail slowly. Success might come faster, though. That’s where the role of a dependable project manager comes in.
That role is beyond the classic definition of project management. The person in this role ‘runs’ the project, not just manages it.
And one of the most important activities of ‘running’ a project is to prevent a slow collapse by getting into the vertical depth of the matters and do everything possible to get even small things right. Easier said than done.