We are Roberto (Dutch) and James (American); two sensible provocateurs and bons amis who share a passion for traveling and managing projects. We possess many years of complex project management experience (as internals and consultants) in over fifteen different companies spanning five continents.
The people of The Netherlands have a lot in common with their maritime boundary neighbors in England – love of the sea, mordant sense of humor – however, they emphatically draw the line when being polite becomes counterproductive. Just like us, the average Dutchman is known to be bracingly direct. Elephants in the room rarely make it past personal introductions.
Hence, we were pleasantly surprised that even the Dutch have yet to sharply addressed a notoriously obvious problem plaguing organizations; failing projects. It is well known that over 70% of projects globally meet with disaster. The failure of projects costs the U.S. economy about $50-$150 billion annually. [source: Harvard Business Review] Those figures should be deeply alarming. Let’s not forget that projects are all around us; from the flawed apps on your smartphone to the prominent disasters a host country endures in organizing mega events such as the Olympic Games.
So what exactly is going wrong? Our blog (humbly) sets out to meticulously unearth an answer to that very loaded question, in a deliberately provocative way that falls between being confronted by a pack of rabid dogs and love-making. In other words, we aim to present with a bit of humor, wit and wisdom a challenging and nuanced subject, which when in the wrong hands induces the kind of narcolepsy seen in the back of lecture halls.
After years of ranting at work, on planes, in bars – and more bars for good measure – it dawned on us that perhaps the best way to make a difference is to empower anyone that is involved in projects (not just project managers) by bringing the often difficult unspoken truths (the pink elephants, landmines, sinkholes, pompous windbags and more) to light.
We chose to exercise restraint and not contribute to the pile of academic project management essays, blogs or books that typically stonewalls the general public (although we could, given that we are proud nerds in this area).
Let the armchair revolution begin!