The significant problems with large IT projects experienced by the Swiss Federal Administration, which have become public knowledge and been widely reported in the media, should not obscure the fact that major problems are also frequently encountered with large projects in the business world. However, failures of this nature only seldom find their way into the public domain.

Analysis of these failures reveals a pattern of unfavorable general conditions right from the outset of the project, attributable, for example, to the fact that

  • a project is expected to achieve too much too soon – more than is realistically possible with a single project,
  • a project is confronted with too many or too wide-scale changes in the underlying conditions during its term (such as organizational changes or technical advances that are taking place in parallel),
  • those affected by a project (such as company employees or partners) are expected to deal with too many new things at once (for example, tasks, competencies, responsibility, structures, processes, technology).

Under circumstances like these, large and/or complex projects in particular cannot rely solely on methods and training for project management personnel in order to be successful. What is required is project leadership at all levels. This is the area on which the Competence Center for Project Leadership (CC KEY) focuses.