Top Four Key Categories of Project Failure

Every year, big companies invest millions of dollars in many of their strategic projects with several key objectives in mind: Business Expansion, Portfolio Diversification, Improvement in Product Marketing and many more…

Not all of these projects ultimately get launched successfully, some were on hold because of some specific reason, while some just didn’t get to deploy successfully, while many of them were staggered into sub-projects which will be deployed by phases with different deployment dates.

At high level, Projects failures can be categorized into 4 great category,
a. ) Poor planning:
-The key to any project success ( regardless of its size, its budget and for which regions ) is good planning. Good planning helps minimize potential risks, reduce last minute changes, and avoid any miss dependency. One of the key item in project planning is Risk management. With a well out-lined plan, issues and risks get mitigated significantly with alternative work-arounds ready to take care of the issues while the long term solution is on its way.

Here are some sign of poor planned projects,
1. Major gaps remained to be unresolved
2. Key stakeholders have no active participation in the project
3. Too frequent changes in the scope, Business requirements can’t be finalized.
4. Multiple revises in project Time lines
5. Lack of Test and Development Resources

b.) Lack of Management support:
-A project will only be successful if there are strong support from Management in terms of financial support and Resource support. If without, Projects will suffer from one or more of the following areas:
-Inadequate skills and inappropriate Staffing – Lack of team members with the necessary skills to run the projects in the Organization ; however, Management do not see the need for additional staffing.
– Lack of financial support – Management will invest their money in projects where they believe higher return will be reaped. Lack of budget resources will somehow forced the project to stop sooner or later.

c) Poor project management:

A lot of key projects were found to fail due to Poor and Bad project management. These may be caused by :
– The scope and objectives of these projects have not being defined properly and the process are not comprehensive enough to take care of all the details.
– The required testing resources from other functional teams have not being engaged earlier ; same goes to the testing environment
– Miss out a few key requirements during the development phase. This last minute miss caused the project to slip its key milestones.
– No dedicated Business owners to sign off for the user acceptance testing

d) Lack of Key Business engagement for the project:

Business Leads and end users are not keen to get engaged and participate in the projects
– due to this limitation, not all Business process has being validated and reviewed by the appropriate Business leads/Subject Matter Expert ( SME) as per requested. This might lead to potential over-look of gaps in any of the Business process with the new changes implemented for the Project.
– It is imperative to have all the necessary players to be fully committed and engaged in the project throughout , namely the Business, IT team as well as the project stake-holders.