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In the Gulf recently, I came across ‘open budget’ projects. This wasn’t something I’d heard of before. It seems that, for a few organisations in some Middle Eastern countries, the project budget isn’t always a constraint. These projects are known as ‘open budget projects’.

Now before you all flock to the Middle East to this project nirvana where money isn’t a constraint, listen carefully.

The person who told me about open budget projects was very unhappy about them. ‘What could possibly be bad about having enough money to do whatever is needed?’ you might ask. When I probed a bit deeper, I heard about projects where the requirements were not understood. Instead, the team would buy an expensive, complex, off the shelf system and, when it didn’t work and wasn’t used, a new project would kick off. I heard of one or two projects in their third or fourth iteration, without having produced anything useful for their end users.

Perhaps budgets aren’t so bad?


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