Why projects fail
Why exactly do many projects that seem potential to succeed fail? Is it due to poor financing? bad management? Lack of feasibility study? Alternatively, were they doomed to fail from the start? My little research came to the conclusion that many factors irrespective of how small they may seem, may lead to the failure of a given project. The project managers are therefore expected to ensure that they are on top of the project from the initial stage to the implementation and execution stage since any mistake and error may be potential of slagging the entire project. What this means is that poor management, bad leadership, poor financing, or lack of clear goals among other factors may affect the success of a project. This being the case many factors come into question as far as project success is concerned. This being the case, the aim of this paper is to highlight some of the factors that may contribute to project failure and some possible recommendations that project managers could employ to ensure that projects don’t fail.
Lack of objectivity among key players
From the independent research that I undertook, one of the key reasons why project fail to accomplish the required purpose is the lack of objective/vision among the major stakeholders. This being the case, the stakeholders who are expected to foresee the execution of the project usually view the project from different angles thereby creating confusion and impracticability of the work. The lack of consensus and alignment leads to delays since processes to undertake the project are not prioritized and therefore the necessary resources are not availed as required. At the same time, there may lack an agreed upon methodology in the management thereby affecting the phases management and execution.
To address the issues related to lack of clear objectives, consensus, or alignment among the key stakeholders, the project manager and other involved persons should ensure that before the start of the project, there are clear defined goals that are regularly reviewed to ensure that the project runs as expected and the necessary changes made before mistakes happen. At the same time, qualified personnel’s should be entrusted with the project so that they can deliver their best. Communication is key throughout the project.
Among the most difficult decisions to make in project, management entails the environmental changes since legal and social issues implicate the whole setting. If the needs of the business change due to environmental factors, the ongoing projects may become outdated or even obsolete. Taking an example of a company intending to start exploration and before they could hit the gold bar, natural disasters, governmentintervention, or other social implications arises. This may force the project to halt or may lead to the review of the original requirement thus requiring new scope or a decision to cancel the project. Such scenarios happen in environments that change fast. To help overcome the challenges related with environmental changes, it would be important for the project manager and the team to make timely decisions so that any unforeseen issue can be identified and solved before it brings loss to the company. At the same time, it would be important to consider smaller projects that have smaller periods. It would also be important for the project manager to be prepared on how to manage expectation and have possible alternatives to the project in case of environmental changes.
All the necessary resources may be available including finances and personnel but if a gap exits in communication, the project may fail. For any project to succeed Communication must be done throughout the project. Gaps in communication lead to unexecuted tasks and wrong task execution. In case of new resources, some people do not receive the content and therefore do not act on them. To ensure that communication is effectively managed, there should be a centralized location where communication is originates from. This ensures speedy delivery of information and directions as well as faster resolving of project issues.
Schedule and cost over/under runs
Project requires adequate financing and time to ensure timely completion. Underfunding may lead to project stall. In case of erroneous estimation, a project may prove to be unmanageable and un-executable. This being the case, proper costing, and budgeting should be done to ensure that the project runs within the expected measures. This being the case, estimation should bear in mind the possible prince inflation, forex adjustments, taxes imposed as well as other costs that may not feature directly in the project itself.
In conclusion, there are many factors that may lead to project failure and as discussed above some of these include poor management, lack of solid plan, communication issues, cost over, and underruns as well as lack of objectives. Addressing these issues may to a great extent ensure that the project is successful and that it meets the required standards and expectations.