Addendum to pathological projects

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Pathological projects original site (March 2001)




This site supplements an essay on pathological projects published in March 2001, a study and analysis of phenomena observed in “messed up” projects. In this analysis, we cited as a characteristic of pathological projects, the various techniques of camouflage and cover-up used by those involved in these projects to hide over-run costs and missed deadlines. In order to evaluate the extent of problems encountered on projects (delays, failures, other pathological phenomena), it would be necessary to have serious statistics relating to projects. However, if such data is available on a certain number of Anglo-Saxon sites (essentially the USA), it is particularly lacking in Europe.

Whatever the typology of the problems encountered, we think that these phenomena (including pathological phenomena) have a cultural and social element that can explain their existence. This site is thus interested in the “cultural” conditions that :

  • on the one hand explain the problems encountered on the projects and in particular the pathological phenomena studied in the preceding site;
  • and in addition look further into the possible reasons of the absence of any serious European statistics as regards projects.

What is the logic and what are the underlying values that this absence implies ? What are the underlying socio-cultural causes ? What does it tell about the way certain “élites” view the workers employed on projects ? This is what this site proposes to study. Strangely enough, we would be delighted to be wrong in our conclusions, since it is not a matter of being right on our own which is of any importance, but the common interest. Unfortunately we do have reasons to be pessimistic.

Initially put together as a running series of ideas and thoughts, episodes complementing the site “pathological projects”, this new site hereby re-launched in the beginning of 2003 can henceforth be regarded as an independent site.

Nota Bene : This site is the translation of an essay originally published in French (Addendum aux projets pathologiques). In case of misunderstanding, the French version has to be considered as the original one.

To view the first site on pathological projects (published in French only, in March 2001) : click here

To view the French version of the present site (published in 2002) : click here

Site plan