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Why Your Project May Not Be Seeing 5 Stars

Do you know what elements can ruin your project? Can you readily identify when these 8 instances of project-destroying problems are present in your efforts? This post found on PM Hut lists common reasons that projects fail, what causes them to occur, and what can be done to mitigate the risk of them becoming an iceberg to your project's safe journey to completion. Leading the list at number 1 is “lack of or poor project management”, which is pretty self-explanatory: if the project manager is unable to provide the team with the direction and leadership needed for a successful project, the project will result in additional stress and confusion for the team, a detraction of focus on the project, and potentially a failure of the effort altogether. It's for these reasons that the article states “the matching up of the project manager and the potential project is critical and should not be rushed”. 

In other words, make sure the level of complexity and the level of experience between project and project manager are considered. Another potential problem is a communication barrier: with more and more teams geographically disbursed throughout the world, having open and transparent communication. So when there aren't open lines, you can expect the project to falter:  


Communication in a project is essential and needs to take place so everyone is up to date on the current status of the project. Communication barriers however do tend to be in place when the project team is big and complex. This is even more difficult when different parts of the project team are working from different locations. It is advisable to hold regular project status meetings for all individuals involved in a project to discuss the aspects relating to the project and to produce and circulate project status reports. 

How well does your team handle conflicts? They're bound to happen, and as the article explains, it's more about how you handle team conflicts. Reduce the impact of conflict by including everyone in the decision making process, and promote a “freedom of speech” policy within the team itself. This helps get issues out in the open and dealt with rather than kept inside and building. The list also covers time management, the keeping and monitoring of project goals, and the importance of change management processes that are robust and followed by the team. While the list isn't as extensive as it could be, it's a great start to identifying the common project-killers around.

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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