Muses on the nature of projects: The Investor’s Fog

When a business embarks on change (rather than a ‘text-book’ definition of a project) it is common for many competing and contributing factors to be involved. Not all factors will be clearly defined, nor will all factors affect all participants.

As a business concludes change it never arrives at a state of absolute stasis, there is always some change, some cyclic and some gradual and unrepeating. Sadly it is often only the middle section after ideas are largely formed and before stability is largely restored that involves the ‘professional project manager’ and their artificial insistence on clarity and stability.

Reality is full of uncertainty and flux. For a business’ stakeholders real projects start in uncertainty and have an end that is often difficult to discern as a moment in time or a specific event. Suppliers have that luxury but not investors because suppliers deliver a product and present a bill. Achievement of acceptance criteria triggers obligation to pay and realisation of the supplier’s benefits. Rarely is that the point that investors have payback, indeed it isn’t even always the point at which an investors benefits start to flow let alone exceed costs.




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