Project Management Zen: Project Success Requires Project Failure
If project success is the opposite of project failure, what does failure mean? How do you define it? What does it encompass and how do you feel about it? – These are not fake questions. They are serious and they are meant to be answered. For, if success is the driving force in our projects, we should be able to describe what the opposite of success is about. Is it so that the fear of failure moves us to action? Can we start a project and act without being discontent with a situation?
I have come to the understanding that without an imbalance in a present situation it is very, very difficult to proceed and virtually impossible to motivate others to follow you. There needs to be a creative tension between the status quo and the desired outcome. And, you and those who follow you or vice versa need to understand the purpose of the journey, need to be able to identify themselves with the cause. I want to go a step further and state that it is not sufficient if this identification is purely on the rational level. Instead, you need to be able to relate to it on an emotional and sometimes even deeper level, let’s call it a „spiritual“ level.
In order to develop this creative tension you need to understand the cause(s) of the present situation and the desired state. Why are you dissatisfied with the status quo? Who is affected by it and how? What happens if nothing changes? Then juxtapose those questions with the following: what is the ideal, desired state you want to be in? Why? Who benefits from it and how?
Once you have come up with responses which satisfy you and those around you, proceed to the next question: what does it take to get to the desired state?