Project Management

The Top Ten Reasons Projects Fail (Part 10)

Frank Winters has more than 30 years of consulting and Information Technology experience serving as a project/program manager, consultant and IT service industry executive.

What do we mean by culture and ethics?


In this article what we mean by culture is shared beliefs and values. Ethical behavior is what is considered correct behavior in the organizational context. These beliefs and values are found in company statements but--more importantly--they are found in actions. When statements and actions differ, there is misalignment and discord.


Companies make statements about what correct conduct is, and how staff members and managers are expected to act. Sometimes actual behavior is consistent with statements, sometimes not. More to the point--sometimes the expectations of management are different from their statements about ethical behavior. This certainly creates opportunities for misalignment.


Many years ago I joined a major public accounting and consulting firm. There was an ethics test that every professional had to take. Legend had it that if you passed the test, you would fail in your career because the stated ethics were completely out of sync with how the managers and partners wanted staff members to behave. It made some of us wonder if the senior management team wanted us to succeed.


Don't Be a Victim
Organizations should want projects to succeed. Of course we assume they do, even in the face of evidence to the contrary.


But even with such mixed messages, the clichéd gripe "They set me up for failure!" is a cop out--…

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"To you I'm an atheist; to God, I'm the Loyal Opposition."

- Woody Allen