Optimism bias can derail the most well prepared and run programmes and projects. Equally corrosive is misplaced faith in the breadth and depth of reported data and KPI tracking.
Data can help add contours and topography to the geography of a project, but it is not a navigated map to reaching your destination on time. Not all things are equal. It is critical that clients have a project team in place who understand the lay of the land and can prioritise the work and decisions required.
Some data is more important than others as some areas of a project at a particular point in time are disproportionately important to maintaining schedule and cost performance. To add more complexity to the equation is the fact that projects are dynamic creatures and the determinative focus changes throughout the lifecycle: big picture strategy > creative visioning > civil engineering > systems integration > operational readiness and in use. The expectation that traditional actors immersed in old style construction “business as usual” can combine the flexibility required with a holistic understanding of every stage of this process so often leads to disappointment.
To avoid being drowned in data and yet being no closer to your destination: