Project failure and how to prevent it

Most enterprise organizations around the world have experienced astronomical project failure rates. Projects that didn’t end on time, were over budget, or changed in scope over time. There are many pitfalls that can cause project failure. Here we will focus on five basic major project management functions that are necessary to achieve success in projects.



1-Poor Preparation


Poor planning is the number one mistake that leads to project failure. If something doesn’t start right, it would be delusional to think that it will end right. There should be a detailed plan that has been developed before any release date of a project is announced. Inadequate planning is one of the main reasons whyprojects spin out of control.

If the planning is not at done right, the team members will not know what exactly they are working on and this will decrease the efficiently of their work, Their productivity and output will be very low. The members will have no clear picture of what is expected of them as they work on the projects, There will be no deadlines to meet hence creating a lazy atmosphere among the team members. This means that the project will not be completed on time and the result will be shoddily done.
Usually, The stakeholders have expectations from a presentation of the plan of the project to be worked on. If the planning is poor the stakeholders will not support and sponsor the project as they have different expectations, because they do not have a clear picture of what they are sponsoring.



2-Inadequate Documentation and Tracking


Proper recording and monitoring lets the project managers identify where more resources are needed to complete a project on time. Requirements may still continue to creep. In almost all projects there will be some degree of “learning what the requirements really are” while building the project product.

The lack of effective quality such as software measurement programs for capturing productivity and quality historical data centred mechanisms can be a major contributor to both cost and schedule overruns.



3- Inexperienced Project Managers

A project manager has a lot of responsibility, such as creating a great
and capable project team, assigning people to management roles who have
matching education and experience. The people at each management level have a responsible to ensure that the project is successfully moving forward. Management should not micromanage but provide support to ensure that the project manager can follow through with the expectations placed upon them. In some cases, inexperienced managers are given projects. They may be very capable of managing projects, but the key is to keep them at a level where they can creatively succeed. 



4-Inaccurate Cost Estimations


At the planning stage, the required budget for the project and the means in which the funds will be sort is set out. Inaccuracies in project cost estimation has serious implications. 

These are some of the most common impact of wrong cost estimates:

1- Wrong cost estimates can seriously dent project margin.
2- The project may suffer from numerous delays.
3- Wrong cost estimates may lead to a shelved project.
4 -The organization may even decide to terminate the project suffering from serious cost inaccuracies.
5- Inaccurate cost estimates may impact the quality of deliverables.
6- Reduced overall customer satisfaction.

A Good Costing model can withstand the test of time, be Suitable for use in varying scenarios, easier to use by team members and flexible enough to cater for changing needs of the project.



5- Project team issues 5features-project-management-software.png

Knowledge is not power unless it’s shared, everyone in the project team must understands and take responsibility for their roles in creating the perception of the team. This includes what is delivered on the project and how it is delivered. Team engagement is crucial to business success, the project team members will be interested in what they do, committed to the project and willing to bring a unique set of skills, knowledge, experience and wisdom to go the extra mile.

Effective project teams fearlessly share regularly and generously for the benefit of everyone and for the benefit of the project’s success, conflict or a difference of opinion can be healthy and it can trigger useful debates if carefully managed. this make the people think differently, and the capability of the whole team grow and gives the team, expanding knowledge and insight; innovation can happen and results flourish.

Transparency is becoming the presumed standard in project and programme management and expectations are growing. Without transparency, trust will suffer.
Trust is crucial to teamwork, Team members absolutely need to be acquainted, both professionally and personally, particularly in projects where tensions will run high at some point. Otherwise members won’t want to engage because they haven’t made that human connection and they won’tfully trust each other.




Assessing and recovering a failing project can be one of the most challenging work for a project manager to perform for an organization. The Solutions to these issues are a combination of people, processes and tools. There is no ‘magic button.’ Good processes should be applied that are customized for the business. If outside consultants are needed to help define these processes, then they should be brought on board. Software solutions need to be utilized or invested in that support these processes .





1-ROSANNE LIM (OCTOBER 8, 2018), 10 main causes of project failure,

2-ATUL GAUR PMP (JUNE 8,2017), Wrong cost estimates implications and solutions,

3-Copper Team (JULY 5, 2016), Why poor planning can lead to project failure,

4-Mandy Flint (AUGUST 11, 2016), 10 common problems project teams face,

5-Discenza, R. & Forman, J. B. (2007). Seven causes of project failure: how to recognize them and how to initiate project recovery,



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