Causes of Project Failure: – In project management, no one is immune to failure. Sometimes, despite the investment, effort and willingness of the project manager and his team, a project may fail. One of the first questions to ask is what is the reason for this failure?
“Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm” »Winston Churchill.
The causes of the failure of a project are multiple and can occur throughout the project, starting with the definition of the project and its launch through delivery, through all stages. Failure can also be caused by an incompetent project manager or an inexperienced team, inadequate environment, obsolete equipment, poor timing, etc.
Causes of Project Failure and their Solution
Discover below 6 common causes of project failure and their solution.
- Lack of visibility on the Project
It sometimes happens that the project manager and his team drive their project without any visibility. The task list and schedule have been defined at the start of the project, but they have never been updated according to its progress. Team members know what tasks they need to work on, but they have no idea of priorities.
If you pilot your project blindly, it is doomed to failure. The Gantt chart is an indispensable tool in project management because it allows to quickly visualizing all the planned tasks, their progress and their due date. Thus, you and your team have complete visibility on the progress of the project, the tasks in progress and those to come. You can better manage your priorities, anticipate potential delays, etc.
- Unclear Objectives
A project whose objectives are not clearly defined is likely to fail. To build a house, if you do not have precise plans, it is very likely that the construction team does not know where to start, that the site is chaotic and that the house collapses before it is even completed. The same is true for a project.
Since the launch of “EFINISSEZ” clearly and precisely the issues and objectives of the project. It is the essential starting point for all projects. Objectives must be precise and realistic so that you and your team know in which direction you are going. In addition, a clear vision of your project will attract the support, loyalty and involvement of your project team.
- Underestimated Planning
The underestimation of the time required to complete your project can have more serious consequences than simply missing the deadline on the calendar. You are going to exceed your estimated budget because you will have to pay the extra time done by your collaborators and the other actors of the project. Delayed delivery of the project may also cause the company to miss important contracts.
It is essential to prepare and evaluate your schedule accurately. Problems can arise at each stage of the project and delay it. So you have to put in place effective risk management and you have room for maneuver in the event of a problem. It is better to have a wider schedule and finish in advance, rather than the reverse.
- No Risk Management
Resignation of a collaborator, delay of a supplier, lack of budget, breakdown, etc in project management, and zero risk does not exist and it is quite possible that your project does not proceed exactly as expected. You and your team must therefore anticipate and minimize any risks that may occur in order to reduce their impact on the smooth running of the project.
From the start of the project, put in place a risk management. This allows you to identify, prevent and limit risks by anticipating their treatment through the implementation of preventive and corrective actions. Thus, you will be prepared for almost any eventuality.
- No visibility on the availability of Resources
You have no idea of the availability of your team members. You do not know which of your collaborators are overworked and which ones are available. Some tasks fall behind while others finish early. This lack of visibility on the workload of your team hurts the smooth running of the project.
You must use the time sheets. This tool is essential to know the availability of the members of your team, and thus better distribute the workload. Lighten your overworked employees by asking more available colleagues to help them. Moreover, thanks to the time sheets, you know the amount of time already spent on a task, as well as the time remaining before its expiry: a good way to anticipate delays.
- Poor Communication
Poor communication or even total lack of communication within the team is one of the main causes of failure of the project. A team that does not communicate will shut itself up and fall back on itself. The working environment is deteriorating, which has adverse consequences on the progress and success of the project.
It is essential to maintain a constant and constructive dialogue between the team and the project leader, but also with the other actors involved. This improves teamwork and allows everyone to be informed of the project’s evolution in real time.
Fostering communication and exchanges makes your team more productive, builds trust among members, and a sense of loyalty. Build a climate of trust by listening to your team. Follow-up meetings and collaborative project management software ensure good communication within the team.
This list is not exhaustive; there are other causes of failure of a project. Sometimes failure is caused by the association of several causes. It is up to you to identify what has happened and to draw lessons for your future projects.
The success of a project is a perfect combination of competent people, effective methods and effective tools. For example, project management software will help you increase the success of your project by allowing you to manage it effectively.