Dear Project System Managers,
As we all know, project systems exist only for the purpose of serving business requirements of creating, fixing, and maintaining capital assets. So it is really quite ironic that the single most serious and enduring problem in doing projects well is poor communication and lack of mutual understanding between business and project professionals. Often, even the most basic things are sources of misunderstanding. For example:
- As a business executive, what role do I need to play in projects? I worry about sales, not factories!
- What do I get out of all this red tape on the front-end of projects? We need to get a shovel in the ground!
- What’s all this stuff about “gates” and “gatekeepers”? Sounds like a zoo!
- How can cost estimates end up so wrong? It’s just arithmetic, isn’t it?
If any of this sounds like some of your business executives, I think we have finally found a solution. That solution is a short, easy-to-read, non-technical book, Capital Projects (John Wiley & Sons, 2016). The book explains in straightforward terms what your business executives need to know to make their capital projects better and your life in the project system much easier. Paul Barshop, the Director of IPA Capital Solutions, has spent a decade getting ready to write this book. He has studied how gatekeeping should work, how technology alternatives should be evaluated by the business, and the business role in project team development and successful scoping of projects.
Paul starts the discussion with the grim reality of too many failing projects. Too much value disappears as a project moves from idea through to completion. But critically important, he makes the point that this value erosion is unnecessary and doesn’t occur when business and project teams work together. The book then takes your business sponsors, gatekeepers, and corporate executives through the basic requirements for them and for you to produce systematically better project results.
Read the book yourself and then share it with your biggest supporters—and your biggest detractors—in the businesses you serve. I believe you will be glad you did.
Ed Merrow, Founder and President of Independent Project Analysis, Inc. (IPA), is recognized around the world as a subject matter expert in the execution of large and complex megaprojects and capital projects in general. He has spent 35+ years studying megaprojects at IPA and the Rand Corporation, analyzing the drivers of success and failure in capital projects. Ed is the author of the widely influential book Industrial Megaprojects: Concepts, Strategies, and Practices for Success (John Wiley & Sons, 2011).