4 of Many Reasons Why Projects Fail

May 19th, 2017 in Project Management

4 of Many Reasons Why Projects Fail

No one likes failures and there are many reasons projects fail and not all of them out of control of the Project Manager. Here are some reasons why projects fail that project managers can proactively address to increase the likelihood of a successful result.

Lack of a solid Plan
Before the start of a project a solid plan, stating the clear scope and the success criteria has to be agreed upon. If the scope and goals have not been agreed upon at the beginning of the process chances of getting it right are slim to none. More often than not teams feel that they know what needs to be delivered and have the mentality that the rest will be figured out as time goes on. Scope and goals can always change, but if they are clear and defined from the start then they will only change for the right reason, otherwise, it’s more like taking a shot in the dark.

Poor Communication
It can’t be stated more clearly that without clear communication between the team projects are destined for failure. Poor communication can result in many types of project failures:

  • Managing customers expectations
  • Keeping the team on the same page
  • Clarity about roles and responsibility
  • Management of project requirements

To make sure everyone is up to date on the progress of the project and what is required of them, it is important that the communication between all parties is frequent and clear.

Lack of buy-in and engagement from stakeholders
The lack of buy-in and engagement from stakeholders such as the project team, management is another reason projects fail. The team can be disengaged because of too much direction on the project manager’s part and not listening enough to the team.

Failure to get team’s input when planning the project also results in disengagement it can contribute to gaps in information that could have been helpful for the project down the road. Involving the stakeholders in the process gives everyone opportunity to partake and understand the project.

Team Accountability
Holding the team accountable for their responsibility and tasks play a major part in the success of a project. Failure to do so sends the wrong message to the rest of the team, that the due dates are flexible. The team members should be allowed the freedom to re-prioritize their tasks how they see fit but the overall due date for those tasks should remain the same. More importantly, the project manager should make sure that the team knows of their responsibilities, what is expected of them and they are taking the ownership of tasks assigned to them.

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