Project Management

Why Are Bad Projects So Hard To Kill?

From the PMI Global Insights Blog
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Categories: EMEA, ethics, PMI

Presenters: Mike O'Brochta and Fabio Rigamonti (disclaimer: this is me)

The session was extremely interactive having Mike sharing his experiences about climbing and how this relates for him to bad projects.

Death March

A death march will involve desperate attempts to right the course of the project by asking team members to work especially grueling hours or by attempting to "throw (enough) bodies at the problem", often causing burnout.

We did a quick poll, and this sounded very familiar for many attendees

Four Behaviors causing Bad Projects

  • Groupthink
  • Escalation to commitment
  • Sunk Costs
  • Conflict of Interest


These four behaviour can contribute to keeping death march projects needlessly alive, undermining our basic values of responsibility, respect, fairness, and honesty. Once those basic values are compromised, so too are ethics, trust, leadership, and project success.



Actions are available to project managers to help avoid being victimized by bad projects.



More resources

There are more resources made available on this site.

  • The full white paper is here
  • We opened a discussion board to have an open discussion about Bad Projects here

... and you, have you have had a bad project?





Posted by Fabio Rigamonti on: May 02, 2017 03:31 PM | Permalink

Comments (4)

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Useful info. Thanks

Great light on a very important point,thanks.
About bad behaviours,Escalation to commitment is the dangerest one,as, when started, it represents to me the moment you lost your project.

Thanks again,


Thank you, Antonio, for your input.
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