The Law is simple. When your change process is dysfunctional your project reporting will be like this:
Green = Amber
Amber = Red
Red = We are all f*cked! run!!
The thing is, when your project reporting is dysfunctional, everyone will know it, everyone will be doing this interpretation in their head.
Why does this happen?
It happens when:
– People are incentivised to operate the process rather than deliver value.
– People don’t let projects fail (or aren’t allowed to be seen to fail)
– People see project failure is seen as politically damaging
– People working within change Governance structures aren’t incentivised to govern, its too hard work, they might not like what they find
How can this be resolved?:
– Accept that failure is part of change
– Incentivise the reporting and killing or curing of sick projects
– Incentivise the accurate reporting of projects
– Change your change governance structure’s reporting (or maybe create some in the first place!) so its not focused on maximising ‘Greens’, but evidencing proper challenge.
– Remove the governance dead weight. Participation in change governance bodies is often a small part of a wider role. and yet often it can be the most significant part of the person’s role in terms of cost and value. Here are a couple of tests,
1) If attendance at the governances body isn’t the most important thing for that person that week, they are the wrong person and should be removed.
2) If the ‘govenor’ hasn’t read the material (this is usually very obvious and communicated through silence and nodding with others opinion’s or through asking questions that are clearly answered in the material), they are the wrong person and should be removed.
If Sagey’s Law of Dysfunctional Project Reporting applies to you then there are simple things you can do and they all have nothing to do with process and everything to do with people and the things that drive people’s behaviour.