Intersecting Perfomance

From dysfunctional to total alignment - Extracting top performance between the silos in project teams

In today’s talk I want to cover one key area that I have identified and what I have termed “Intersecting Performance” in the context of delivering a mega project. As an aside, for the last few decades there has been a proliferation of new Project Management Tools, software and apps, plus the fact it is now a profession of its own; yet somehow the failure rate in delivering Mega Projects is still around 94%*. How can that be? If we take all projects of all types and sizes, the statistics still indicate that around 70% failure rate exists. Was it always like this, have these new tools really helped us, or have projects become too large or too complicated or both? Or has something been missed?

I’ll give an example based on my own experience advising on several large Infrastructure projects over the last decade. It became increasingly obvious to me because my role quickly expanded from an initial difficult problem to solve, into subsequently covering many other problem areas identified by me (and others) that were outside of the contracted scope. Somehow, there were items in the “too hard – its someone else’s’ problem”, or in the completely overlooked basket; or there were “Grey Zone” areas that landed between the scopes of responsibility, such as between Geotechnical and Civil/Structural scopes. Additionally there is a large amount of “relied upon” information that gets passed between each discipline that leads to inefficient designs needing updating, because nobody questioned what they were given soon enough. Everyone is just working inside their silos. What I have found is that for a mega (or any large) project to be successfully delivered, one of the key ingredients is this “intersecting Performance”, because most of the risks (including career and business ending) and opportunities (for increased efficiency and benchmark designs) exists in the gaps or the Grey Zone.