Top Consultant, a UK-based operation dealing with consultancies, has an interesting article describing a recent study by the Economist Intelligence Unit and sponsored by Celerant Consulting, an affiliate of Novell. Top-Consultant reports that
More than 4 in 10 senior executives surveyed in a major new cross-industry study said that performance improvement initiatives undertaken at their companies over the past three years failed to achieve their objectives.
The oil and gas industry had the best results, but that only got them to 50%.
Projects fail at a miserable rate. These numbers reflect similar numbers for IT (see IT Cortex’s list of the statistics for IT failure rates), probably because mos IT projects really endeavor to change the way business works at a fundamental level. At least our industry isn’t as bad off as we all think. Our 50% failure rate puts us at the top of this study.
Only one in three (34%) executives considers their current performance management systems and processes to be effective.” Yet they still use them. If they aren’t effective, why not go back to chaos? I think that the only reason we keep these damnable systems is to keep lawsuits at bay. “We have a system! It wasn’t personal!”
Celerant has a more in-depth press release on the EUI performance project failure rate at their website. Also, see the .
From the EIU press release, which is actually better, now that I’ve read it:
Companies’ primary strategic goals are identified in the survey as improving customer retention (picked by 61% of respondents as being among their companiesÃ¯Â¿Â½ top three objectives) and increasing shareholder value (49%). Both depend heavily on achieving operational efficiency.
I will allow any of my RO pals make comments about why it’s insane that these are strategic goals. Or you can read Mark Van Clieaf’s recent work in the Ivey Business Journal (Canada’s HBR) about CEO value.
I’m just shocked at how most of the US companies can still make money. Would someone like to stand up for Free Enterprise?
Image Credit: Bix sits in confusion (Detail), by Jimmy Thompson. From “Heaven’s to Betsy!”, Club “16” comics (1948).