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End Results Win

Have you ever heard the shouted words, "Get your project on time and on budget or else!"? How about, "The most important thing is getting the end result to be excellent!"? Most people would say they hear the former rather than the latter. Why is that? I ask because of what I'm about to share contradicts what we tend to hear at these meetings.

Two years ago, I ran a survey at IPM Day 2013. I then ran it again this year at IPM Day 2015. It's a simple question: "Choose which is more important --- speed & cost or end results."

This one-question survey in 2013 was answered by 30 people. This year, we received 59 responses. Although, the sampling is small (failing to be statistical significant), it's still interesting to see how the numbers have changed. Here are the results:


  • Speed/Cost = 13%
  • End Results = 87%


  • Speed/Cost = 7%
  • End Results = 93%

Two things to point out. One, is that the majority of managers and directors agree that end results are indeed more important than being on time and on budget. Secondly, it looks like there could be a trend where people are more concerned today about end results, than a couple years ago. One factor could be a change in the economy (i.e., was cost more pressing two years ago?). A second factor could be that our sampling sizes are not large enough to give a good comparison between the two surveys.

Here's the graph from our 2015 survey:

My takeaway

Although when asked, people say End Results wins. But, why do we in practice hear more about being on time and on budget than we do about getting quality end results as the top focus (which is really why we embark on projects in the first place)? Here at PieMatrix, I have been pushing the idea that enterprises should provide the tools and content to engage people to consistently produce better outcomes. This includes flexible frameworks, the right know-how content, cooperation with sharing (asking for help, giving help), and innovative thinking on how to solve problems and improve the process from lessons learned. 

I strongly believe that if we focus on project process improvement and give people the knowledge and tools for engagement, we will not only see better project end results, but also get projects done on time and on budget.  Our partner at IIL also believes this. They focus on quality results with thier Unified Project Management Methodology (UPMM™) and great project management training classes. How about you?

Why do we not hear more about end-results? Also, do you think we can have both quality output along with being on time and on budget?

Written by Paul Dandurand

Photo by Joshua Earle