Risk Management

5 Reasons Why Projects Fail and What You Can Do about It

There are countless reasons why a project may wind up failing. Many of these reasons tend to lean more towards management and higher-level reasons, like a change in company direction. These are well beyond your control, but there are some reasons for failure that are wholly within your control. In a post for Project Management Tips, Elizabeth Harrin explains some reasons why projects fail and how to handle them:

  1. Poor scheduling
  2. Weak scope management
  3. Inadequate risk management
  4. Not enough resources
  5. A different project sponsor

Avoiding Project Failure

Harrin starts off by saying that poor scheduling can be disastrous to your project:

If your project doesn’t reflect the real situation in the project, your team won’t know what’s going on (or what should be going on). We see this through:

  • Tasks that are missing
  • Tasks that are marked as complete when actually there is still work to be done
  • Tasks that are marked as not yet started when there has been work done on them
  • Incorrect resource allocation to task so people don’t know what they should be working on.

If you can’t see what’s going on during the project, you are more at risk of letting the work get out of control.

She says the solution is to keep track of your schedule and to use the proper scheduling software to keep everyone on the same page.

Weak scope management leads to product failure because it results in not delivering the product that the customer wanted. The scope changes and evolves throughout the life of a project, so naturally you will need to be adaptable to these changes. The solution is to establish what the next stage of the project will entail and to stick to the change management processes. There should be a malleable approach to risk management as well. Inadequate risk management is harmful to your project, so set aside time to review risks as a regular part of your project meetings.

Sometimes there aren’t enough resources for your project, and that puts it in a tough spot. The best way to deal with this is to talk to the team and get a list together of required project resources at the beginning of the project. Wave a red flag at your project sponsor if vital resources cannot be secured for any reason.

Should you be in a scenario where your project sponsor changes to someone else at some point in the project, then you need to convey the meaning of your project to the new sponsor. If that sponsor still does not understand or appreciate the project, you may need to alter the direction your project is headed to keep it relevant to the business’s priorities.

You can view the original post here: http://pmtips.net/blog-new/5-reasons-why-projects-fail-and-what-you-can-do-about-it

Austin J. Gruver

Austin is a Staff Writer for AITS. He has a background in professional writing from York College.

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