Six reasons why your project will fail

With many projects not delivering on time or budget, and failing to meet company or customer requirements and expectations, it’s evident that the best intentions will only get you so far in project management.

 Feeling like your project may be in danger of slipping? Check out the six signs your project will fail, remembering that predicting and avoiding problems early will ensure your project doesn’t.


1. No leading project management methodology

 A good project management methodology will specify the best way to start, plan and action your projects in order to keep them on time and budget. It’s the road map of the methods and processes you will use to achieve your objectives.

 An ideal methodology will give you the right level of documentation, communication and accountability for your project and industry, without being too onerous.

 By not having an effective methodology you will end up with higher project costs, greater waste and inefficiencies, time delays and a higher risk of failure.


2. Policy and bureaucracy are slowing us down


Bureaucracy is a way of life, so you need to be able to put things in place to work with it (rather than just complaining about it). Bring on Governance. Governance is critical to your project as it ensure you have the right decision-making framework that governs the responsibilities and accountabilities of team members, and clarifies from the beginning; the right people who need to make the right decisions.

 Unfortunately though, most projects don’t have the appropriate governance. As a result politics and bureaucracy get in the way causing lengthy delays, conflict and projects to fall over. Having the right governance structure will allow you to cut through the politics and make sure the right people are involved to get your project done on time and budget.


3. Project scope is not defined and there’s no clear vision


Often most projects fail because they haven’t taken the appropriate steps to get it right in the beginning. The vision and project scope (the what and why) has not been clearly defined and there is a lack in clarity.

 Because there has been no clear definition of your company or customer requirements, what is being built, created or implemented, the project's benefits or the key deliverables, there are constant changes to the project. This results in unmet and unrealistic expectations, causing delays, rework, team disengagement and complete failure.


4. No clear project plan, where are we going?


If the ‘what’ and ‘why’ of your project are important, even more so is the ‘how’. Everyone involved in the project (at all levels) needs to know and be clear on the plan to meet your project objectives.

In many projects, the plan is non-existent, poorly constructed, unrealistic or poorly communicated. It’s unlikely to have interim goals to keep track of progress and team members accountable. Resulting in tasks not being prioritised appropriately, an individual approach as opposed to working as a united team, project delays and stalling.

A good project plan is one you can pick up and determine at a glance where you are up to, where you need to be, how your resources are being spent and what actions you need to take to keep your project on time and budget. If your plan doesn’t allow you to do this, your project is at risk of failure.


5. Stakeholders and team members are on different wavelengths


Once your project is in full swing, one of the biggest risks of failure is poor communication with the organisation as a whole and the project team you are working with. The communication to all stakeholders needs to be considered at the beginning of the project, with a plan setup to ensure communications don’t drop off as the team gets heavily involved in project deliverables.

Have you considered all of your stakeholders? Consider using a framework to question and determine all the touch points of the project and who needs to be communicated with.

Communication is also important within the project team itself.  Do you have a centralized point of communication and regular meetings to stay accountable? Without this, teams can’t work together to achieve common goals and knowledge isn’t transferred easily to ensure new team members on the project are clear on the what, why and how to see what needs to be done next to ensure the project stays on track.


6. Business as usual activities keep getting in the way


Every project needs skills and resources. However, as many project managers will tell you, one of the biggest challenges is trying to work with a project team where most members have business as usual activities and conflicting priorities to deal with on a daily basis. It becomes even more of an issue when the Project Manager themselves is caught in the daily operations of the business. This is by far the major reason projects stall and fail.

Not only do you need regular meetings to give accountability and ensure project tasks are appropriately prioritised, you also need to ensure that at least the Project Manager is free from business as usual activities so they can focus on the project and assist everyone else by holding them accountable.

This way you have at least one person who is focused on the project outcomes and can have the clarity and focus to predict issues before they arise so your project is undertaken in a proactive manner rather than reactive. Sometimes you may need to consider bringing in an outside person or a professional team to fulfill the role of project manager to ensure your project is given the time and focus it needs to achieve the objectives.


Is your project at risk of stalling or failing?

At DVE Business Solutions we give you a customised project management team with specialised skills and access to our proven project methodology that has a 98% success rate with delivering projects on time and budget. Call us today on 1800 870 677 to get your project back on track and create positive change within your organisation

Published On: Published On: 13/10/2017

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