Don't Ignore Project Failure
Hearing “project failure” may make some project managers want to put their fingers in their ears and say “la la la, can’t hear you, la la la!” However, there is a way to handle the blame for project failure in a graceful manner. Brad Egeland offers some tips to make project failures less painful. Unfortunately, Egeland notes that the first reaction of many projects managers is to pass the blame along as quickly as possible:
It’s been noted by some individuals that I’ve corresponded with that some project managers they’ve worked with have a tendency to blame others for the project’s demise. “Going down with the ship” is apparently something that many project managers avoid at all costs. Some project managers like to blame others (suppliers, team members, customers) or things outside of the project (the economy, location/distance, etc.) This happens in all organizations and not just at the project manager level, of course.
Look To Yourself First
Egeland says it is important to judge ourselves first when a project fails. The project manager should look inward to decide if he or she did not stick to the project schedule, set goals too high, or made some other misstep or miscalculation that resulted in project failure. We must, note that not all project failures are the result of a mistake by project manager. However, it is the responsibility of the project manager to solve issues once they present themselves. That is why Egeland’s next tip to project managers is to decide what actions need to be taken. Maybe we can learn from our past mistakes to benefit future projects.
Overall, the worst thing one can do in the face of a failed project is to point fingers. This makes you looks like an incapable project manager. If you judge your part in the situation and decide what actions to take, you will be far more likely to avoid project failure in the future.