Getting Unstuck: Managing Projects Effectively for Change Success – an Interview with Bill Ruggles

I describe myself as a “projectologist” – I study projects, programs and portfolios and what makes them a unique type of work.

In this episode, we are fortunate to be joined by Bill Ruggles, a true Zen-master of project management. Bill will help us demystify the role of PM as it pertains to complex change initiatives. He’ll talk extensively about three factors that organizations must consider when planning a major shift. Along the way we’ll learn how PM can help organizations avoid having their change initiatives become part of the 70% that fail.

One of a number of books Bill has penned.

One of a number of books Bill has penned.

As you listen:

• What is the major reason behind approximately 70% of all complex projects failing to deliver desired results?

• What is the most important element that must be in place during implementation to increase the likelihood of change successful? Why is that element so important?

• Why does Bill recommend running a pilot before implementing the change system-wide?

• What makes the “servant leader” attitude – taking the “soft side” issues into consider – so important in managing complex changes?

• What are the four most common types of work in most organizations?

• What did Bill feel were the factors that contributed to his most positive project management experience?

Making it personal:

  1. Where does project management fit in – or not fit – in your organization’s work?

  2. Bill mentioned three factors that can negatively impact a complex change initiative:

    1. failure to create an alignment between the organization’s mission, vision, and values and the change itself

    2. failure to define the scope of the project

    3. failure to take the soft-side into consideration

    How have these factors impacted a change with which you’ve been involved?

For more information on Bill:


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Jeff Ikler