Surprisingly many projects are not being ready for term. And this does not only concern large projects such as the construction of airports or military transporters. Accurately, planning errors are to be expected in the case of highly complex projects.


Expected errors

Take, for example, the development of new weapon systems, such as the construction of an aircraft carrier. The development time is 10 years. During this time a lot of technical innovations are developed. These include, among other things, new chip technologies and new operating systems for the computer systems.

Now these innovations are to be included in the ongoing development, so that the finished product is up to date. The planners can but badly foresee what innovations there will be in the next 10 years.

The consequence is that they are so to plan would need to be able to reschedule if necessary when there are relevant innovations without extending the development time itself. It is understandable that this is very difficult if not impossible.

Incorrect project planning

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But how about projects that have already been implemented in a similar form? Such projects have a much shorter planning horizon and possible innovations in the course of the project, eg new software releases, are well-foreseeable.

Projects like this shouldn't have any delays or overtime to meet deadlines. But far from it. Here, too, there are far-reaching planning errors. The effort will be frequent clear underestimated. Where does it come from? Part of the reason lies with the individual Companys and the approach to project planning.

Psychological causes

But there are also psychological reasons.

  1. The first reason is to believe that by the experience gained a similar project can be realized significantly faster next time. This assessment is unfortunately wrong. In general, the best estimate is that it will last as long as the last projects.
  2. The second reason is that the planning usually only includes the work to be done to achieve the project goals. The total duration of a project is not only determined by this work. Communication, coordination and the reaction to new customer requests generate considerable effort. And then there are “unpredictable” events that have to be dealt with.

Knowledge and experience leads to better decisions?

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Employees with professional experience usually have more extensive decision-making powers with increasing professional experience. This can be a mistake. The reason for the promotion of experienced employees is due to the Hand: Background and experience indicate faster and, above all, better decisions. A plausible but often incorrect assumption.

Often, experience increases the risk of falling into certain minds that can reduce the quality of decisions. For example, trust in one's own decisions increases with experience.

Important information is ignored

The subjective certainty of doing the right thing decide, rises. The result is that decisions are made more quickly, available information is ignored or reduced in importance, and fewer precautions are taken against the consequences of wrong decisions.

This can have serious consequences. Medical misdiagnoses by doctors with excessive self-confidence cost lives almost every day. But experience is not all risks, it can also protect against mistakes in decision-making.

Knowledge alone does not protect

Thought traps are a consequence of how we perceive, think, learn, and feel. They result from our psychological processes. As a rule, we are not aware of these processes, which is why Everyday life It is usually not recognizable when we maneuver ourselves into a thought trap.

Knowing the phenomena of planning error and control illusion, and knowing that people systematically surpass themselves, does not protect against these thinking. What do they think they are good at in their job? My guess is that most people rate themselves as average to above-average. What influence do you have on your work results? Most probably assume a large to complete influence.

When was the last time you did something new?

Then please consider the influence of your manager and your customers on their actions and the evaluation of their work results. How much do you think you are an expert in your field of work?

Then ask yourself, when did you last try a new approach, a new approach, although they were skeptical. In order to recognize and to avoid these, we must always actively question ourselves and our actions.

Unforeseeable events are to be expected

But most of these supposedly unpredictable events are to be expected. For example, the disease is predictable by key project staff. A list of unpredictable events from recent projects provides a very good guide. Unfortunately, these latter points, though well-known, are often neglected in planning.

Does that mean that it is better to plan projects with the help of so-called worst-case scenarios? No, because such scenarios, in which everything conceivable goes wrong, are just as unrealistic as best-case scenarios, in which everything simply runs smoothly. It is important to realize that we intuitively tend towards the best-case scenario and have to correct this tendency.

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