Why Projects Fail and How to Avoid Failures

03.28.2019 no comments

Despite having adequate budget and resources, many projects still don’t succeed due to some external and internal factors. In as much as you may want to believe successful projects are as a result of just planning and hard work, nope this is not always true. However, successful projects are as a result of different elements which are successfully implemented. We will be looking at why projects fail and practical steps to take to avoid project failure.

Sometimes despite having the right team, technical know-how, the right budget, surplus resources, strategy and planning, a project may fail if one or two vital feature was missing.

Every project manager should watch out for pointers that could lead to the failure of the project. It is also the job of the project manager to manage and ensure each team understands the scope of the project and it is also important for individual members to understand their roles.

Top 9 Reasons for Project Failure

The success or failure of a business is based on a number of factors and conditions. However, by eliminating some huddles, managers and project coordinators can increase the chances of the project success.

Here are some of the common problems that cause a project to fail. There are other unavoidable occurrence or policies that could arise which could lead to the failure of a project.

Lack of Clarity in Objectives


The objectives of the projects should be well defined to every member of the team. The project manager should define the roles and responsibilities of every team member. It should be well spent out in black and white.

While working in a team, every team member needs to know their responsibilities and in cases where it wasn’t well defined, you should speak with the team leads or the project manager. If your team members don’t have the bigger picture, the chance of the project failing is high. For the overall success of any team, everyone needs to be aware of the ultimate objectives of the project. Without a clear idea of the goals, the vision, the overall objectives and the roles each team members needs to play and overall their quality contribution the project is bound to fail.

Here are a few questions to consider

     – What are the deliverables?

     – Who is responsible for each task?

     – The timeline for each deliverable and the project

Unclear Visibility of Project Status


Sometimes the people in the management team tends to keep project updates and some vital information from people in the lower level. They start feeling they are not being carried along which ultimately leads to negligence. When teammates are not being carried along and don’t get regular updates of project status, the workflow gets hindered, the team morale is low and ultimately everyone gets frustrated. More time is spent, budget expenditure increases unnecessarily and less output is achieved. Workers start losing enthusiasm for work and in the process, managers get worked up unnecessary.

Inadequate / Unorganized Project Resources


Inadequate and unorganized project resources are also a major factor for project failure.

Getting the right resources at the right time and making proper distribution of resources is a must for project success. A huge amount of time is spent in this process if the resources stay scattered or inadequate. So, the lack of proper organization also leads to a project downfall.

Lack of Team Collaboration


It’s well known to all that without a fair collaboration among the co-workers, teamwork can never see the light of success. But sadly, most of us find it difficult to collaborate with others. The main reasons behind this tend to be – hesitation, mismatch of schedules, the lack of proper tools etc.

Poor Communication


Inadequate communication often leads to a baffling and iffy situation in the workplace. While working on a project, requirements and outlines may need modification or improvisation over time. This changes or updates need to be properly communicated to the team members.

Effective communication is the bedrock of every successful project and in the case where this is lacking, the project is prone to failure. Memos, emails, and letters  should be sent and meetings conducted often to make sure team members are all up to date on the current situation of the project

Mismatch in Priority Management


When there are task dependencies between different teams, ignoring task priority by any one of them reduces the productivity of the others. It slows down the workflow alarmingly and makes everyone suffer to meet the deadline. This can often be avoided by creating an order of importance to every task, this will immediately alarm the team to speed up delivery. What is a good productivity tool?

Neglecting Strict Schedule Management


Being a little indifferent to schedules or time-marks can create a huge impact on the overall project. Some tasks require more time than the estimation while others may require less. Without continuous balancing among these time-frames, project deadline becomes unattainable. This also causes a serious problem in dependencies.

Improper Planning


When it comes to launching a project, proper and adequate planning is important to the successful implementation of the project. Proper planning ensures that every factor that will ensure the progress of the project has already been factored in.

Budget Constraint


Before a project is implemented and launched, a review of the total cost implication should have been done factoring unforeseen cost that may arise such as natural disaster, inflation and a sudden increase in cost which may arise during the course of the project. The budget should be well reviewed to make sure it is realistic and attainable. And reviews should be done at different levels of the project to ensure that the overall budget is feasible. Budget constraint can

How to Avoid Project Failure


There are a couple of things to do to avoid or prevent project failure. It starts with having:

      – Clarity in the entire Plan as well as Personal Goals

      – Description feature for Projects, tasks, task-lists

      – Easy planning opportunity with previous track records

      – Records must be kept and updated

      – Deliverables should be made known with timelines

      – The determinant factors for success or failure or failure should be known

      – Real-time Update of Project Status

Apart from these, the following approaches can help you to avoid project failures.

Using a Resource Management System


One of the best ways to stay organized during project management is to use project management software like the WP Project manager which allows you to work and collaborate easily. It is a great resource management system that helps manage proper filing and documentation. The resource management system should be robust and be able to manage File & Document manager.

Providing a Hub for Team Collaboration


Provision of a Web-based task management system that allows easy collaboration and easy access to files from different members of the team. WP Project Manager allows easy collaboration which makes work easier, faster and convenient.

Leveraging a Centralized Communication System


Since communication is one of the bedrock of a successful project, It is quite imperative to have a centralized communication system to manage all communications effectively. This is to ensure easy information to every team that needs it. Leveraging on a tool like WP Project Manager provides a seamless and centralized communication system.

Clarity in Project Priorities


The project manager should ensure the scope of the project is well defined. The project should scope should be broken into Priority, task, and categories. One of the best ways to successfully prioritize and assign a project is by using project management tools which allows you to manage, assign and define project scope.

Tracking Timeline for Every Task


Every delivery should have a timeline attached to it and should be monitored to calculate the total time spent on the task. Schedule management, Time tracker, & Recurring task should all be properly recorded. With the WP Project Manager you can divide the project into timelines and goals which makes tracking progress easy.

Bonus Tip:

While running a team many of us unconsciously do some unusual behavior. These behaviors will hamper your team management. Here are 11 Poor-Management Offenses You May Not Know You’re Committing while managing your teams.

Wrapping Up

Having known that projects don’t just fail and that we don’t leave the fate of projects to luck. It is important to watch out for pitfalls that could mar the success of a project. The secret to every successful project is to learn to create a communication channel, a proper strategy, ensure the team has the right tools and enough resources to work with and most importantly the ability of the project manager to be able to lead and coordinate every member of the team to work together. This can be achieved by using a robust and effective project management tool which will help track the progress of the project, which also allows you to monitor progress which will ultimately help prevent project failure.

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