Why Can’t We Grow Up?

I am shocked, shocked! at silicon valley business immaturity in project management . Home of some of the greatest, innovative companies on the planet, and we cannot execute projects any better than anyone else.
I have consulted and trained in many of them since 1998, across industries, and it is amazing how disorganized they are. When did the Gartner Group report on Chaos come out? Late 1990s? That was 10 years ago. What have they been doing since then? I read that the success rate of projects has only slightly improved since then.
Surely it is clear to management that organized projects help the bottom line, market share, efficiency, what ever. Gartner Group pointed out that management buy in, clear project objectives and customer involvement were the three top reasons for project failures. Why haven’t organizations fixed this?

I think a big reason is that they can’t or don’t act on the integration of generational and cultural differences in their organization.

What? Why, the silicon valley is one of the most people, or human ‘integrated’ environments in the world. People from all countries and generations come here to be a part of the innovation we swim in. How could it be that we are not really ‘integrated’?
I’ll tell you how, real generational and cultural ‘integration’ is not a priority for most companies. They are too busy getting ‘value’ from their endeavors, which mostly means satisfying quarterly earnings targets.
And the beat goes on, lots of failed projects that should have succeeded. Efficiency sucks.
Most projects involve a lot of people directly or indirectly: stakeholders: why are they ignored? Maybe because people issues get thrown on the ‘too hard pile’. It’s true, people issues are frequently messy, always complicated: but they are always important.
We can identify the generations with labels like Baby Boomers, Gen X and Net Gen. And if we can identify them then there must be some definitions for these groups. That would lead to integration thinking, then training, then doing?
We can identify the cultural groups too. And a lot of information exists on all of them, especially here in silicon valley. And do we integrate, really integrate these differences in our project teams? Why can’t or don’t we build culture rich teams instead of culture clash teams?
No offered solutions today, or magic bullets proposed. Not sure there are any. What do you think?

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1 thought on “Why Can’t We Grow Up?”

  1. Absolutely!! I’m shocked, shocked, too, and really amazed that solutions are so slow to be implemented. People prefer complex solutions to complex problems even when more simple solutions would be quite effective. I think the answer is staring us right in the face! We are each contributing to this problem, and yet everyone is waiting for someone else to fix it. Let’s get off our of asses and commit to really integrating culture and people issues into project leadership. That’s going to help get management buy in. That’s got to help with customer involvement. And gawd help us if we ever allow ourselves to be lured into working on a project with unclear goals!!

    Stop the madness! Stamp out business stupidity in our lifetime!

    – Kimberly

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