I would like to describe the funded project of someone incompetent who has failed to properly complete it mainly due to his incompetence but who has managed to present it in its failed state as a success even though it is essentially useless and bears little resemblance to the pre-agreed specifications of the project.

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    I will suggest it would be a Presidential administration. Whose it is would be up to you. – Elliot Apr 16 at 23:57
  • @Elliot Jokes beside is there any short universal way of describing the aforementioned project? – user114893 Apr 17 at 0:02
  • A person who's capable of this isn't really incompetent. Anyway, an example sentence would facilitate zeroing in on the right word. For the moment, however, I suggest gloss over as in X glossed over the inadequacies of the project or something along those lines. But like I said, an example sentence would be great. – user405662 Apr 17 at 0:16
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    Sounds like a lot of large-scale IT projects as well. Particularly private sector projects for government departments, – BoldBen Apr 17 at 0:18
  • Despite the [developer's/project manager's] miserable attempts to cover their ass, the [project] is an abject failure. (??) – Mari-Lou A Apr 17 at 7:28

While it's most commonly used in a political context, I think spin control can be used to describe your situation

The shrewd management of the way in which a piece of news or information is presented or interpreted so that it best serves one's own interests.

You could say

The project was a useless failure, but the spin control made it appear as if the project was actually successful.


From Wikipedia, the phrase smoke and mirrors describes "any proposal that, when examined closely, proves to be an illusion." It comes from a common technique used in magic shows to make objects appear to float in the air.

In your specific case, you could say something like,

He put on a great show for senior management, but in the end it was nothing but smoke and mirrors.


He has presented a simulacrum.

simulacrum: something that looks like or represents something else

“ In other words, he prefers the bland, dumbed-down sounds which represent a diluted simulacrum of the real thing.”


simulacrum: an insubstantial form or semblance of something

Merriam Webster

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