Can you imagine? Ponder that question for a moment before having a listen to the answer from Graham.
This question was submitted as part of International “Ask a Stupid Question” Day – and its certainly one that gets you thinking…
How long have we got?
I’d actually tackle this from the perspective of people impact.
Imagine being a PM in this environment. Dammed if you do and dammed if you don’t. You would either hide challenges behind a Green status, causing a good deal of stress in the knowledge that you have got to deal with it yourself (because the ability to Flag for Support has been taken from you), or flag something as Red and perhaps gain a reputation for a PM out of their depth!
Which then perpetuates “Green” reporting.
As a member of the Leadership Group your portfolio of strategic change has little chance of success. With no “At risk” Projects you will not have the opportunity to make decisions to slow-down, suspend or cancel projects that really should be. There is opportunity cost / loss in that alone.
Equally, you will have little chance to get things back on track when they do go “Red”. By definition these are projects that are going to fail on one or more measures of success. That is a costly place to be.
Shareholder may even consider that to be bad money after good.
And a loss of confidence in Leadership!
Coming back to the question with my own question: Why the scenario for Red and Green only? What is the root cause? I would hope there is a different and perhaps better solution to whatever prompted the question!
I had a PM leant to a PMO I was working in last year and they’d been taught to only mark things as green when they were complete. Red meant a deliverable hadn’t been started yet, and amber were the things that were being worked on. They’d not been able to get promotion before and together we realised it was because every project they’d ever run had looked like it was being done at massive risk…
I’ll see about moving to AR/AG instead of just A for the next set of reports, get my PMs off the fence!
So using it as a progress tracker rather than for risk!