Improving project outcomes: Striking a balance between agility, emotional intelligence and process


By Eddie Kilkelly

Managing Director, insynergi

United Kingdom


A considerable amount of resources has been spent on Programme and Project Management Process training throughout the world and yet the desired improvements often have not materialised. Eddie Kilkelly, Managing Director at insynergi looks at how project managers can determine the right outcomes and strike a balance between agility, emotional intelligence and process. 

Throughout my career, project management has changed for the better. There is greater recognition of project management as an important function within the organisation to deliver transformational change. There has been an increase in the professionalism of the discipline, driven by organisations like the Association for Project Management (APM) and the Project Management Institute (PMI). Hundreds of thousands of people are members of these and other professional bodies and many millions have undertaken project management training. In terms of awareness, education and professionalism, we have come a long way – but is it enough? The continued rate and cost of project failure would indicate not.

In its recent “Pulse of the Professioni” report, PMI estimates that 44 percent of strategic initiatives are unsuccessful and organisations waste US$109 million for every US$1 billion spent on projects – a staggering amount of money. Despite training more project managers we are still only training around 5% of the project population. Organisations would not take the obvious risk of employing an unqualified corporate lawyer or finance director, but some still think that it is appropriate in project management.

PMI suggests that failure to closely align projects with organisational strategy – a common problem in 58 percent of projects – is a major reason for project failure.

This could be because project leaders misunderstand the organisation’s objectives, or because priorities change and the original project goals are no longer fit for purpose. In both situations, failure could be averted if the project leader takes action to change course, but that requires maturity in the organisation’s approach to projects. This isn’t as easy as it sounds;


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About the Author

pmwj29-dec2014-Kilkelly-AUTHOREddie Kilkelly flag-uk

Managing Director, insynergi

London, UK

Eddie Kilkelly is Managing Director at insynergi, London, UK. He has been involved in the Best Practice and Change Management industries for two decades, as a Project and IT Service Manager, an implementation consultant and a coach and mentor to senior project and programme managers and project sponsors. Kilkelly helps organisations to achieve their objectives through effective management of change by empowered and confident people. For more information visit www.insynergi.org or email [email protected]