What is it that makes a project succeed? Is it the methodologies, the risk analysis, the reporting, the communications ability and talents of the managers or is it the project? This question came up as a result of a discussion about a story that Richard Feynman told, explaining what he called Cargo Cult Science. The story goes as follows:
In the South Seas, there is a cult of people. During the war they saw airplanes land with lots of materials, and they want the same thing to happen now. So they've arranged to make things like runways, to put fires along the sides of the runways, to make a wooden hut for a man to sit in, with two wooden pieces on his head like headphones and bars of bamboo sticking out like antennas - he's the controller - and they wait for the airplanes to land. They're doing everything right. The form is perfect. But it doesn't work. No airplanes land. So I call these things Cargo Cult Science, because they follow all the apparent precepts and forms of scientific investigation, but they're missing something essential, because the planes don't land.
How many project are really important or are there times we're waiting for planes to land?
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23 minutes ago