InEight Global Capital Projects Outlook 2021: Optimism and Digitization

Not all projects are created equal

Adeline Teoh ed.
August 2, 2013

Hands up if you’re sick of all the royal baby hype… With my hand firmly in the air, I invite you to forget baby George for a moment to consider one of the other issues that has emerged from his nativity.

According to End Child Poverty, of the 2,000 babies born in the UK every day one-third will be born into a family below the poverty line, something the young Prince of Cambridge will never know. For me, the contrast recalled the old adage about playing the cards dealt.

We all know of the project with an inexperienced, under-resourced project manager at the helm, business case in disarray and with hostile stakeholders mounting. To turn a bad start like that into a success requires something close to a miracle. Yet there are project managers who from these ingredients go on to manage award-winning projects with a combination of sheer determination and project management magic. There are no other words to describe it.

We also know of that privileged project manager, albeit a rarer breed, with the complete support of the project sponsor, a generous budget and a talented team. But sometimes the very best ingredients are not enough to make a successful project.

Some say it’s about having good process, others believe that unlocking capability is the key factor. The lesson here is that it doesn’t matter what you start with, it’s what you do with what you have that counts. Of course, just as being born royal gives you an advantage, having good ingredients on hand will increase the likelihood of success, but it is no guarantee. Do what you can with what you have. Everyone else is.

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Adeline Teoh ed.
Adeline Teoh is the editor of She has more than a decade of publishing experience in the fields of business and education, and has specialised in writing about project management since 2007.
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