Reduce Risks in Projects with 'Deal Breakers'

Most projects fail due to a manager's ambition or pressure to complete on time. This leads to significant errors.

Here are two examples from the opposite sides of the spectrum

  • I have been witness to a very large and very risky project, which was initiated with nearly no regard for the risks involved. The project was completed successfully but only with the titanic effort and dedication of the project team.
  • Only 2 weeks later, I was a witness to a project which had major issues with coordination, communication and breached deadlines, but still it went ahead. Sadly, the project finished with a major issue, mostly because of project staff fatigue which led to human error.
With these two examples, one must always be prepared to properly implement boundary conditions to ensure proper risk management.

You should ALWAYS be prepared with an answer to the following question:
  • What is the 'deal breaker' of the implementation? Under which conditions should we abort and re plan?
The answer to this question should not be just any obstacle. Whatever the answer is, it should be related to
  • Risk to business continuity
  • Risk of impact to core business operation
  • Risk of major personnel harm

Talkback and comments are most welcome

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Geek Project said...

Not exactly related but my "project" sort of has a deal breaker too, in that I need to win an auction on eBay to get it started.

It just shows the rules of business can be applied in different situations.

Bozidar Spirovski said...

Interesting example. Although your 'deal breaker' is a real one in terms that you cannot go ahead without it.
But to a project, the 'deal breakers' should be points which although could be achieved, achieving them would put the project in very high risks

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