where do projects fail

Where do projects fail?

I forgot about writing this part of the newsletter this week. I blanked on it. In the middle of the night, I woke up and remembered. Yes, I swore. So now, here I am writing, a minute from when Chris needs this content to push the newsletter out the door on time.

It got me thinking about where projects fail and our approach to solutions.

People. People are where things fail more often than not.

For some reason, instead of trying to fix the people, we tinker with the process or the platform. We say that the data is wrong. We say that the process broke down. These things may be true but I have a secret to tell you. A person sets those up. The fault does not then lie with the process or the platform. It lies with the person that pushed the buttons.

Think about something like Robotic Process Automation. It does repetitive tasks and unless there is a power outage, it is not going to fail. It’s going to do what it’s told to do over and over again.

Think about your MarTech stack. It’s going to collect data over and over again without fail because you told it to. You set it up to do something and unless the internet crashes, it is going to do it.

Do you see the common denominator in those two examples? It’s you. You told the process what to do. You told the platform what to do.

I have reminders that have been set up to tell me when this content is due. I have a project management system that owns those reminders that are set up to tell me what to do. But I failed. Those reminders were still there this morning when I looked at them. But I didn’t look at them yesterday when I needed to know the information.

I asked our slack community what questions they have about change management. Interestingly yet unsurprisingly, all the questions are about people and behavior changes. Over the next few months, I’m going to tackle the questions.

You can change a process, you can change a platform. But those are just extensions of the people executing tasks.
People are notoriously the most difficult element of a project. People are historically the first thing overlooked when there is an issue. Why? Because unlike machines people are complex and unpredictable. Unlike machines, you might not know everything going on. Unlike machines, you can’t flip a knob and get a different outcome.

What questions do you have about behavior change or change management that you want me to cover? Let me know in our free slack group Analytics for Marketers.



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