Project Inception - Designing Organizations For Success

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A failing project’s fate is destined long before assigning a project manager. Its doom is sealed from the time the customer envisions the idea.  Traditionally, project inception is defined as when the customer comes to a solution provider (internal or external to their organization) asking for a product or service.  In actuality inception is much earlier.  It starts when someone says, “Wouldn’t be neat if I could...”  From that point forward the customer’s exceptions are set, changed, and reset as the process of discovery refines the concept. The customer’s ideas change from what they want to what they need, while continually constrained and formed by the realities of an ever-changing business environment.  Although people cite unrealistic expectations as major problem during inception, the constant change in expectations causes the real issue—misalignment. For project managers to make a significant difference in a project’s success, they must use a new paradigm.

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