People start their project thinking that it can do wonders and will reach business ambitions and stakeholder presumptions. However, a project is considered a failure if it does not meet the required expectations.
According to a survey conducted on more than ten thousand projects of 200 enterprises, only 2.5 percent of the businesses were able to complete their project on time.
But the important question is why does a project fail?
A project fails due to several reasons such as mismanagement, over budget, delays, unable to provide value or delivered the wrong product, and many others. If you are a project management professional, then you should be aware of all the common causes of project failures and the steps required to fix them.
Top 10 Reasons for Project Failure
- Communication Breakdown
Communication is one of the top reasons for the success or failure of a project. According to a survey, more than 57 percent of the project fails due to lack of communication between the team members. Businesses need to have proper communication in place. It’s not essential to have a formal document of the proceedings; it can just be a regular meeting with the team members for discussing the project’s progress.
You can also keep in touch with the other coworkers through email, and if anyone makes any new changes, he or she can update the email trail. No matter what format or method you choose, your plan should consist of the communication points with emails, phone numbers, and the meeting schedules.
As a project manager, you have to make sure that any team member of your project can be contacted 24/7, if necessary. Effective communication within businesses helps to build trust, kills conflicts, avoid confusions, keep the team members on the same page, and bring the best out of your co-workers to make a project successful.
- Poor Leadership
As a project manager, you need to have the necessary leadership skills to manage a project efficiently. You can’t complain that your team members do not listen to you and are out of control. The team should not feel that they do not know what to do next. You need to make sure that every team member is aware of their responsibility and make them accountable for reaching the objectives.
As a team leader, you need to set examples for the rest of the members. For instance, if you are late for the project meetings, then you can’t expect your team members to be punctual either. If you are doing your work correctly, but some of your team members are not performing as expected, haven’t responded, or not willing to work dedicatedly, then it’s your responsibility to take necessary steps to either make them understand or replace them.
If you are not sure about your leadership, then you will not be able to garner respect from the other members of your team.
If you want to become a successful project manager, then take a PMP Certification in Bangalore to enhance your leadership, communication, and management skills.
- No team ownership
The project managers and the team members should own the projects they are working on. It is difficult to control everything, but what we can do is own what we can control. A company expects its project manager and other team members to take the complete responsibility of the project.
If something needs to be changed for the project, it’s the job of the project manager to make the necessary changes. Also, the team members should ask when they require something to complete the project. All the members of a team are expected to own their tasks and perform each of them with complete responsibility to contribute to the success of the project.
Delegate the roles of the team members and let them know about the decisions they can make with and without your approval. This allows the team members to have more ownership of their job and perform their tasks better.
- Budget Management
The most important work of the project manager is to manage the budget efficiently. If a project is ten percent less or over the required budget, it is considered to be performing well.
But how to manage the budget efficiently?
The budget can be managed through consistent work, weekly oversight, analyzing, planning, review, and education.
You need to keep the team aware of the project’s financial health. The team that knows about the financials of the project tends to perform better because they understand the importance of their work. For example, if your team members are working for 50-60 hour per week but no is documenting those hours, then at the end of the week when you are calculating their payment someone might get paid for extra few hours.
If you are managing your project efficiently, then the chances of your budget exceeding decrease significantly.
- Scope Oversight
A scope is an integral part of the planning of a project. If a project manager ignores the scope management, then the project can experience extra non-planned work which can increase the project and delay the delivery time. If you say to a customer that certain work is “out of scope,” then they are less likely to work with you. Changes are a part of a project, and if you can’t manage them efficiently, you are more likely to fail.
Therefore, before starting a project have a clearly defined scope of work. It helps in having transparency between you and your customer so that they can know how much they are charged for the job done.
It also helps the team members to know about their roles and what they have to do to achieve the goals.
- Unrealistic Expectations & Risk Management
According to a survey conducted by KPMG Canada, more than 60 percent of the projects failed because they had a deadline of less than twelve months. If a project manager sets unrealistic expectations and deadlines, then they are dragging their projects down the drain.
You need to consider all the factors that might affect your project and then set a particular deadline. If you add some extra time in your deadlines, then it gives you the liberty to complete the project with ease. It also reduces the overall workload of the team members and makes them more efficient as they can focus on the required job without rushing through it.
Risk management is also one of the factors which affect the success or failure of a project. If you have poor risk management, then all your investments, time and effort would get wasted. Some of the other negative impacts of poor risk management include reputation damage, increase in budget, less loyal customers, low trust, and many more.
The Final Say
Firstly you need to understand that neither the success nor the failure of a project is fixed.
Hence, as a project manager, it’s your responsibility to know about the factors which can impact the outcome of the project.
The points mentioned above will help project managers to be at the top of their game. If your team members know about all the factors which can lead to the failure of a project, then they can be prepared to face the errors and issues which may arise. It will maximize the chances of success of a project.