Project Management Article in The Economist

The Economist is a global publication with a blue-chip, global, business leader readership. In this week’s issue (June 2005), they publish an article on Project Management which is also available on their web page.

Interesting to me was:

  • that they published this,
  • that they are able to focus attention on a key cause of project “failure” on overly optimistic assumptions about costs and revenues,
  • that the Project Management Institute (PMI) gets some attention in the magazine (due to their PR department no doubt but no reason to be cynical about this)
  • that they end on a positive note to give specific examples of where project-based companies have great success.

I do have a nit to pick about their implied criticism of the

“Although oil has entered the pipeline at Baku, it will be another six months
before the high-grade steel pipe is full and ready to disgorge on to tankers in
the Mediterranean.”

I’m quite sure the project managers were fully aware of the time it takes to fill a long pipe with fluid before stuff comes out the other side. I can only imagine that The Economist write is guilty of “over optimistic assumptions” about how pipelines work.

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