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Why Projects Fail and How You Can Prevail

by | Aug 9, 2011 | IT Consulting

5 Top Causes of Troubled Projects

  • Requirements: Unclear, lack of agreement, lack of priority, contradictory, ambiguous, imprecise.
  • Resources: Lack of resources, resource conflicts, turnover of key resources, poor planning.
  • Schedules: Too tight, unrealistic, overly optimistic.
  • Planning: Based on insufficient data, missing items, insufficient details, poor estimates.
  • Risks: Unidentified or assumed, not managed.

The Most Common Obstacles To Recovering Failed Projects

  • Getting stakeholders to accept the changes needed to bring the projects back on track-whether they are changes in scope, budget, resources, etc.
  • Poor communication and stakeholder engagement; lack of clarity and trust.
  • Conflicting priorities and politics.
  • Finding enough qualified resources needed to complete the projects.
  • Lack of a process or methodology to help bring the project back on track.

How to Prevail

  1. Knowing that over a third of projects are likely to have serious problems, the financial impact of these failures is very significant. It’s easy to say that there is nothing new about the five causes of troubled projects listed above. You should acknowledge the challenge and difficulty of aligning expectations and perceptions across a diverse set of stakeholders.  That is a fundamental obstacle to project success.
  2. Acknowledge the reality of project risk for each project and address these risks, improve your communication, emphasis collaboration, and make sure to share information across silos and departments to employees and partners.
  3. Find methods for making your projects more adaptive.Try to reduce decision cycle times to keep your projects responsive to changing conditions and requirements.

Forward thinking CIOs will recognize these realities and innovate by constructing a broad-based, long-term campaign to ensure that project outcomes align with organizational interests.

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