Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 30th 2013 Contents B10
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Tuesday, April 30, 2013
The Regulated Industries Commission (RIC) is a regulatory body, established by Act No. 26 of 1998 to
regulate the Electricity and Water Sectors. The Commission is seeking to recruit a suitably qualified and
experienced individual to fill the following position:
Reporting to the Chief Financial Officer, the Accounts Clerk is generally accountable for the conduct of
semi-professional routine work relating to the processing of receipts and payments and the maintenance
of financial records and statements. The incumbent is responsible for the preparation of cheques for set-
tlement of RIC's liabilities and for ensuring all procedures are followed. The Accounts Clerk also han-
dles petty cash and is responsible for the proper filing of the department's records.
o CXC passes of at least 5 subjects inclusive of English Language and Mathematics.
o Level II CAT qualification or equivalent recognized professional training
o Minimum of two (2) years experience working in a computerized accounting environment
o Excellent interpersonal and communication skills
o Efficient time management skills
o Results oriented and ability to meet deadlines
Applications together with documentary evidence of Academic Qualifications, Training and Experience
and the names and contact numbers of two (2) referees should reach:
UNSUITABLE APPLICATIONS WILL NOT BE ACKNOWLEDGED
An impossible business case is one common
reason for project failure.
We can probably all think of projects that
have "failed"---perhaps processes got worse
rather than better, maybe they were cancelled
because of cost overruns, or perhaps systems
were launched with fundamental errors.
How do you know when---and why---a proj-
ect has failed? In many cases, the reason for
failure is obvious. However, the definition of
failure isn t always clear: one project with a
significant delay might be described as a failure;
yet another, with a similar delay, might be
seen as a stunning success.
Definition of Project Failure
A project is considered a failure when it has
not delivered what was required, in line with
expectations. Therefore, in order to succeed,
a project must deliver to cost, to quality, and
on time; and it must deliver the benefits pre-
sented in the business case.
The requirements for success are clear and
absolute -- right? Unfortunately, it s not that
simple. Because the second part of our def-
inition of success is that the project must be
delivered "in line with expectations."
If key stakeholders agreed that a project
had to exceed its initial budget, the project
may still be considered a success. Likewise,
if a project delivered everything that was in
the detailed project designs, it may still be
considered a failure if it didn t include vital
elements that the key stakeholders needed.
This doesn t seem fair, but project success
and failure isn t just about the facts, nor is it
simply about what was delivered. It s also,
crucially, about how the project is perceived.
Reasons for Project Failure
Here are some of the main reasons why
1. The wrong business requirements have
If your project is set up to deliver the "wrong
thing," it may be considered a failure even if
everything is delivered on time, within budget,
and to the required quality. This seems harsh.
But if your project doesn t deliver what the
organization really needs, this will inevitably
negatively affect how it s perceived. This is
why it s so important to conduct a thorough
business requirements analysis.
2. It s not possible to deliver the business
If your business case can t be delivered,
then you have an impossible task. To make
things worse, after the business case is
approved, delivery of other things then
becomes dependent on your project. This
makes changing your project s deadlines, budg-
ets and expectations more difficult.
For example, once you ve promised to deliver
a new airport baggage management system,
airlines may schedule additional flights for
shortly after the system s launch, so that they
can take advantage of the new capacity. If the
baggage system doesn t work, or if it has major
problems during testing, it may be hard to
convince senior managers to allow the project
to be delayed, because they will have to give
up promised increased revenue.
When you write your business case, make
sure you think through the project require-
ments in detail, and identify what s needed
to ensure that you can deliver those require-
Don t just list assumptions: make sure you
explore them thoroughly. Review other, similar
projects, so that you don t forget any major
items. If you re delivering a new system, review
your hardware and interface requirements. If
you have major risks, include sufficient con-
tingency resources (people, budget, and time)
to manage those risks appropriately. Remember
that implementing change is hard!
Be realistic, and be ready to have some dif-
ficult conversations. For instance, your CEO
may be disappointed that he can t have what
he wants before the year end, or key users
may say that they really need a fully featured
product at the end of phase one.
However, it will be a lot harder to have these
conversations at a future date, when your
project is in trouble!
In many cases, business case documentation
is written before a project manager is assigned.
If you re the incoming project manager, make
sure you don t simply accept these documents
as they are!
You re responsible for delivering the project,
so be sure to review the business case. Validate
assumptions, and identify any gaps or areas
that need more detail. If difficult conversations
are needed, have them now. Once deadlines,
requirements, and budgets are set, expectations
are much more difficult to change!
Continued on Page B11
Learning how to
avoid project failure
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