Project Failure Presentation

This past week was one of the more suspenseful weeks of the semester. Friday was the day we presented our Project Management presentation. It was a team project with 3 team members on each team.

Our assignment: Write a research paper (MLA), create a powerpoint and give an oral presentation of 12-15 minutes.

It was quite a learning experience. Not only was the project something to learn from, but so was the subject material. We were to research 3 failed software projects and the reasons they failed. Our choices were Hershey, Foxmeyer, and Nike. I found an endless number of articles, books about project failure and to hear what many of them were saying, nailing down just what causes project failure is still a mystery. It wasn't so mysterious to me. In general, companies don't like others to know what they did wrong. Some things are obvious, and in other things, we can have a pretty well-educated guess.

Fortunately, the projects we researched could be compared with similar project successes, and we were able to say, "This works, this doesn't". Wouldn't it be nice if everything was that easy.

In the end, I think the assignment was a successful project. The paper was supposed to be MLA-compliant, a new concept to me, so that required some careful study. The oral presentation was the thing that concerned most of us, but with some speaking and teaching experience, it was almost natural.

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