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Have you suffered from Project Failure due to being the victim of a “Bait Project?”

Have you suffered Project Failure due to being the victim of a “Bait Project”?

There is a popular reality TV show called Bait Car. In this show the police leave a nice car on the street with the keys in it, tempting an unsuspecting robber to jump in and steal it. The police then lock them in the car and take them to jail.

In Bait Car the victim goes to jail.  On a Bait Project the project manager suffers unnecessarily on a project that is likely predestined  for project failure.  The generic scenario for the “Bait Car” that sometimes happens to project managers in a “Bait Project” situation is…

  1. The victim/PM is presented a “great opportunity” and has initial excitement
  2. The victim/PM then gets an inkling or feeling that all is not as it seems
  3. This inkling then turns into knowing and a sense of being locked in with no escape from project failure
  4. The same people/Stakeholders that set up the victim/PM then ask the victim/PM with a straight face “what happened”

Here are the common statements from sponsors that may clue you in that you are being offered/assigned a “Bait Project

•   This project may require long hours but that is only short term…

•   You will get to keep your other responsibilities also, but the stakeholders will be understanding if there are delays…

•   The critical team members will be on board soon…

•   The budget authorization should happen shortly but we would like you to proceed…

•   The customer is still not exactly sure what is required…

•   The completion date has been set but there is plenty of flexibility…

•   Even though this is a global project, travel requirements are minimal…

•   You have our full support as this project has the highest visibility…

Please feel free to share any other “Bait Project” clues.

To successfully deliver, alter or avoid a “Bait Project” begin with Managing Stakeholder ExpectationsIf you are going to suffer from project failure try to make sure it is calculated failure.

Posted by Dr. James Brown in Change Management, Leadership Skills, Stakeholder Management and tagged , , , .


 

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