Companies efforts in the executing step
I think that the project team would be able to falsify project progress to cover up their design mistakes in the executing step. In general, what kind of efforts do companies do to check whether the project is progressing properly?
I think falsifying progress would be extremely difficult. Within the initiation phase of a project, project planning takes place and is a crucial step in keeping on track to meet deadlines. Any reason for falsification would mean that the progress of the project is falling short within a stage of the planned course. By doing so, a domino effect will be created and the team will have to play “catch-up” in order to meet the subsequent deadlines, which is extremely high risk and could cost them the entire project.
Firstly, the project manager would be first in line to ensure the project is progressing as planned. The project manager is a trusted individual within the organization that leads the project and is the advocate between the team and management. Next up would be the department manager that will overlook the tasks of their specific departments ensuring the project is still within budget and on track. From there, the organizational governance, including the board of directors will oversee the work and responsibilities of management while also checking in to track the progress of the project.
I agree with @Jbarbee in that there are multiple cross functional teams involved in seeing a project through. Any mistakes along the way that result in a time delay or an increase in cost will be impossible to cover up given oversight from managers and a board of directors. The only example I could think of where a project's progress was falsified is Theranos which is a company that claimed to have developed a technology able to perform hundreds of tests, ranging from cholesterol levels to complex genetic analysis, from a single pinprick of blood. The CEO of the company was eventually charged with criminal fraud after misleading investors with false claims about the efficiency of her technology, further, proving that it is impossible to falsify a project's progress as the lie will eventually catch up to you.
Along with the points made above. Falsifying progress will only hurt the person reporting as the project deadlines come to a close. Not only will they have to show proof of the work done but they may also have to provide documentation that are generated as a product is improved. This may also spill over to the office environment and may result in social condemnation from your colleagues. Even if the person well to leave the organization there work ethic may be reported to future employers causing more problems than simply telling the truth. These other factors make it very unlikely one would need to falsify progress report.
As it has come up many times in this course, communication is one of the most important aspects of a project, as well as for the company itself. It is crucial that there is always a healthy communication venue between the project managers and their team, as well as the project managers and the company directors. It should be expected that the project managers are always well informed of how well their team is doing and the progress that they have been making in their current assignments. It is also ethical that the information given to the project manager and the information relayed to any kind of higher-up position is truthful and not hiding any secrets. The communication between all of these parties is what is going to make sure people know if the project is progressing properly and can also be used to modify the way the team is working if the project is falling behind. A project team or company that is not able to properly communicate with themselves will always be running into problems such as deadlines not being met and people not knowing exactly what is expected of them.