Serious problem projects (SPPs) often occur, particularly in a system integration environment, and it is difficult to prevent them, since the relationships among phenomena that occur throughout the project life cycle are extremely complicated. Our goal is to make it easier to identify major risks by distinguishing phenomena that are sources of future SPPs from phenomena observed in actual field projects. By choosing several events whose causal relation is known to be cyclic, we constructed a causal model and clarified that it can contribute to the easier recognition of SPPs empirically, by analyzing actual SPP cases.
The overall message is to anticipate major problem spirals by the analyzing events, understanding if the problems are root cause of a death spiral or a derivative of the death spiral and then taking effective action not only to mitigate the problem (event) but also the underlying death spiral.
The paper is a bit difficult to read – probably because I am not familiar with Japanese project management terminology and because of Japanese English…. However here are the major take aways:
Risk events have different consequences depending on the development phase. The article divides the project into three pages upper (proposal / award), middle (early development), lower (detailed development and launch).