At bad project, we believe in the maxim that ‘no plan survives its first encounter with reality’. That’s not to say that planning is a waste of time; it merely means that the conditions and prerequisites governing a project have to be checked thoroughly and repeatedly, and any necessary changes made along the way.   

Take the project to build Europe’s tallest skyscraper, for example. Planning started on the 780-foot-high building – due to be erected in Stockholm, Sweden – in 2006, but it was a further nine years before the project was finally ready to get off the drawing board. And that’s when things got real. In summer 2015, just as the excavators were getting ready to break ground, they got a call from the Swedish Air Force. Turned out the site was too close to a "secret" military air traffic control centre, meaning buildings over a certain height were not allowed…   

So, if you ever visit the Swedish capital, take the metro to ‘Telefonplan’ station and check out how a disconnect between planning and reality led to a building that, at just 154 feet tall, doesn’t even make it into the top ten tallest buildings in Stockholm, never mind Europe!   


This fiasco is just one of the reasons why, in our books, seminars, courses and workshops on project management, we teach people how to lead projects to a successful conclusion in dynamic and demanding circumstances.