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Organizational approaches to project failure and success

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As an aspect of their organizational culture and ethos, some companies view project failure dimly and hold the PM personally responsible for the outcome of the project, irrespective of the actual cause of the failure. For those firms, the consequences of project failure almost always equate to dismissal of the PM or, at the very least, the diminishing of their prospects for promotion. Needless to say, the shelf life of Project Managers with these types of companies is relatively short. Quite often though, such companies also reward success handsomely, with huge bonuses and/or promotions for the PM when the project outcome is positive.

What are your views on these rather extreme approaches to dealing with project failure and success?

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Solution Summary

This solution explains the organizational reaction to project failure and success. Several factors including the organizational and departmental culture are explored and the reaction to project success and failure is evaluated.

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Extreme approaches towards either rewarding or punishing project managers based on the success or failure of projects is likely to be counterproductive for organizations. The project manager definitely shares responsibility for the failure of a project, but an organization should take into account other factors as well that led to the failure. The success of projects is often attributed to teamwork; hence the leadership of the project manager contributes significantly to the success of a project (Meredith & Mantel, 2006). Focus on all the factors including the role of the project manager, would give the organization important information that would provide significant inputs for assessing the risks in future projects. For instance, if factors such as lack of proper communication, and absence of adequate team building ...

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