Post Chronology

July 2024

InFullBloom Archives


Speaking Engagements

Predict and Prepare sponsored by Workday 12/16

The Bill Kutik Radio Show® #171, 2/15
The Bill Kutik Radio Show® #160, 8/14
The Bill Kutik Radio Show® #145, 1/14
Workday Predict and Prepare Webinar, 12/10/2013
The Bill Kutik Radio Show® #134, 8/13
CXOTalk: Naomi Bloom, Nenshad Bardoliwalla, and Michael Krigsman, 3/15/2013
Drive Thru HR, 12/17/12
The Bill Kutik Radio Show® #110, 8/12
Webinar Sponsored by Workday: "Follow the Yellow Brick Road to Business Value," 5/3/12 Audio/Whitepaper
Webinar Sponsored by Workday: "Predict and Prepare," 12/7/11
HR Happy Hour - Episode 118 - 'Work and the Future of Work', 9/23/11
The Bill Kutik Radio Show® #87, 9/11
Keynote, Connections Ultimate Partner Forum, 3/9-12/11
"Convergence in Bloom" Webcast and accompanying white paper, sponsored by ADP, 9/21/10
The Bill Kutik Radio Show® #63, 9/10
Keynote for Workforce Management's first ever virtual HR technology conference, 6/8/10
Knowledge Infusion Webinar, 6/3/10
Webinar Sponsored by Workday: "Predict and Prepare," 12/8/09
Webinar Sponsored by Workday: "Preparing to Lead the Recovery," 11/19/09 Audio/Powerpoint
"Enterprise unplugged: Riffing on failure and performance," a Michael Krigsman podcast 11/9/09
The Bill Kutik Radio Show® #39, 10/09
Workday SOR Webinar, 8/25/09
The Bill Kutik Radio Show® #15, 10/08

Keynote, HR Tech Europe, Amsterdam, 10/25-26/12
Master Panel, HR Technology, Chicago, 10/9/012
Keynote, Workforce Magazine HR Tech Week, 6/6/12
Webcast Sponsored by Workday: "Building a Solid Business Case for HR Technology Change," 5/31/12
Keynote, Saba Global Summit, Miami, 3/19-22/12
Workday Rising, Las Vegas, 10/24-27/11
HR Technology, Las Vegas 10/3-5/11
HR Florida, Orlando 8/29-31/11
Boussias Communications HR Effectiveness Forum, Athens, Greece 6/16-17/11
HR Demo Show, Las Vegas 5/24-26/11
Workday Rising, 10/11/10
HRO Summit, 10/22/09
HR Technology, Keynote and Panel, 10/2/09

Adventures of Bloom & Wallace

a work in progress

There Are No Stars On A Failed Project!

There Are So Many Causes Of Project Failure

There was quite a lot of discussion on Twitter and in the blogosphere earlier this week about a major payroll project disaster plaguing the State of California government.  That discussion broadened to include tales of more failed payroll as well as ERP and various other large-scale systems projects.  If you want to immerse yourself in tales of such disasters, fellow Enterprise Irregular Michael Krigsman has written a ton about such projects as have many others. 

Following the back and forth for a while, one thought kept running through my head.  It was one expression I heard often at my last real job, the last time I had an actual employer.  At AMS, it was understood that there were no stars on a failed project.  Regardless of whether the client or we were at fault, or perhaps it was the fault of the occasional packaged software vendor with whom we worked or their products, there was usually egg on everyone’s face by the time the dust settled on such a project. 

Did we collectively head off the ingredients for failure by walking away from every project that didn’t have all the ingredients for success?  Were client expectations ever realistic?  Was the software we built or the vendor product we used ever as good as it needed to be, as fit for purpose as one could have wished?  Did we put together the A-team in every respect on every project?  Did the client?  Did the package vendor?  Did we avoid betting on technology that didn’t mature quickly enough, or on the staying power of client leadership, or on the other million possible sources of failure?  Nope, well at least not on my watch.  For all the many successful projects, some inevitably weren’t.  And I for one felt the heat of those failures — and hopefully learned from them. 

One of the reasons I’m very suspicious of high flyers who never land long enough to feel the heat of their project failures, of their flawed decisions or flawed hires or flawed strategies, is that they don’t stay around long enough to learn from those failures, let alone to own up to their own responsibilities in them.  The reality is that we all screw up unless we’re hiding under our beds contemplating our navels.  But the folks I value highly are those who learn from their mistakes and from the mistakes of others.  They practice their craft, build upon those lessons, and become much better craftsmen

Motivated by all this discussion, I created another one of my little video cartoons.  I hope you enjoy it.

2 comments to There Are No Stars On A Failed Project!

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