People. That’s my answer and I’m not backing down. Your business processes? They suck with bad people. Your agile tools? They suck with bad people. Your super neat collaboration software? It sucks with bad people. Talent drives good projects and fosters innovation.
I’ve thought about breaking down the analysis of what failure really means and statistics about the number of failures (in particular in enterprise technology), but I don’t think it’s worth going into detail. The bottom line is, bad people create bad projects.
So I don’t care if you’ve outsourced your IT to Mexico City, Bangalore, Tokyo, or San Francisco. Or if you have 100 on-site consultants from Super Management Consulting Firm XYZ. If you hire bad people it won’t be successful.
If my assumption is true then one would assume that a company looking to bring consultants on would ask: How are your hiring practices? How effective are your people in communication skills? How often do you take your consultants off projects to meet with a mentor in the office? What’s your training program like?
This will change soon. Mark my words.