A Failure to Communicate

Ali Forouzesh is a Certified OPM3® Assessor and Consultant as well as professional in IT service management (Certified ITIL® v3), Portfolio Management Professional (PfMP), Project management (PMP®) and IT Portfolio management (Certified IBM Portfolio Manager). He is a leader in organizational development and maturity improvement projects with experiences in planning and implementing organizational project management systems and integrated solutions.

About six months ago, a client of mine in the oil and gas sector called me about hiring our management consultancy services. They had defined a project for their company three months earlier.

The project was about gathering and analyzing information from three previously accomplished projects, and one of their current projects. Therefore, they had prepared lessons learned documentations and implemented knowledge management systems and a methodology. They had decided to outsource the project to a consortium formed of two companies. In addition, their offices were in a different location. The project was behind schedule, and the buyer wasn’t satisfied with the results. They wanted to terminate the project.

We discussed the case together on the phone and had a few meetings to find out a good solution. We then signed a contract based on our approved solution. For the first step, I asked the buyer to show me the seller’s contract. I checked it out to find out the role and responsibility of each party, and their commitments:

  1. First, I found that there were lots of misunderstandings with the contract.
  2. Second, they were not good at project scope definition.
  3. Finally, they didn’t have a common language.

In the meantime, they have been working on the contract preparation for more than three months. So what was the problem?

In the second phase, I …

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