Posted by: kerrywills | October 18, 2013

What is the differentiator?

According to most industry studies (Gartner, Forrester, PMI, etc) most projects fail. By this it means they don’t hit their scope, schedule AND cost commitments. General consensus seems to be put this at around 80% failure rate (which BTW is still higher than the Congress approval rating right now so I guess it could be worse). So then the question becomes “what is the differentiator” with the 20% that do succeed. There are over one million certified Project Managers and hundreds of thousands of books on subjects from risk management to creating a WBS. Again I ask “what is the differentiator?”


In my experience, the PMs who I see with the most success are not the ones who can recite the PMBOK, follow a methodology properly or use the best templates. Yet this is where most companies spend their time and money – investing in frameworks, templates and tools. I submit that the successful Project Managers are the ones who live by a certain set of guiding principles. That is, they focus on HOW to manage projects properly and not WHAT the technique or tools are. They use principles such as Diligence, Attention to Detail, Fact-Based Decisions and Influence.

It is this belief that drove me to write my second book around what I believe to be the eight guiding principles for successful program delivery. They are…

  1. Diligence – Staying on top of all moving parts (plans, dates, milestones, action items, risks, issues)
  2. Attention to Detail – Focusing on the details and finer points
  3. Transparency – Understand where the project is trending before there are issues
  4. Singles Sources of Truth – Having key information in one place and keeping it ‘living’ and current
  5. Fact Based Decisions – Facilitating rapid decisions focused on pertinentThe Shi information
  6. The Ships – Leadership, Stewardship and Ownership
  7. Simplicity – Not over-complicating solutions or processes but focusing on the basics
  8. Taking a Customer Approach – Recognizing that every interaction has a customer and knowing what they need

I will start my promotion tour this month with a conference in Boston followed by a few webinars so be on the lookout. Here is an early preview…


  1. […] Kerry Wills shares the eight principles described in his second book, “Applying Guiding Principles of Effective Program Delivery.” […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: