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5 Reasons for Project Failure Which Are Easily Avoided (Sort Of)

When your project fails, sometimes you can look back and identify the reasons why that failure should have been avoidable. On the other hand, sometimes you cannot. Instead of wasting all the time kicking yourself and wondering what might have been, perhaps you can learn to identify reasons for project failure that are easy to avoid…most of the time. An article on Cobalt lists 5 reasons for project failure that are usually easy to avoid:

  1. Scope creep
  2. Poor communication
  3. A bad plan
  4. Lack of resources
  5. Bad organization

Scope creep is a problem that every project manager dreads. Furthermore, project managers will argue whether or not scope creep is avoidable:

To be fair, it is probably the most difficult on this list to deal with but it is far from being inevitable. As the project manager you need to lay down the change control process from the start and then make sure that you control it all the way through. This will make sure that you don’t end up lumbered with a project which is too big for you to handle. If you let scope creep take a hold on your project then before long it will be too late for you to do anything about it. This means that you need to cut out the risk before it turns into anything more definite.

Poor communication is something we see all too frequently. The sad part is, it is indeed easy to avoid. Taking the time to communicate regardless of whether or not you think it is needed at that exact moment will foster an environment of openness. When everything is open, you can see problems coming before they arrive. Maybe one problem you notice is a bad plan. If a plan looks flawed from the get-go, maybe it actually is. The article suggests spending more time on your plans initially so you don’t waste time on them later.
Having a lack of resources can be a difficult issue to avoid. Being clear on your project plan is one advisable way to make sure those in charge provide you with everything you need to successfully complete your project. Finally, whether or not we would like to admit it, bad organization can really be avoidable. The article suggests planning everything as best as you can at the very start of your project, then worry about sticking to the plan as you go. There will always be issues with projects, but by following some easy tips you can make the unavoidable avoidable.

About Anne Grybowski

Anne is a former staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success, with a degree in Media Studies from Penn State University.

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