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Reasons Why Projects Fail

We all have our interpretation of what project failure is; for some, a failed project is one that hasn’t met the deadline or has exceeded the allocated budget, while for others, a failed project is one that hasn’t satisfied stakeholder expectations. Regardless of how you choose to interpret project failure, it’s vital that you can identify some of the reasons why projects fail. 

Scope Creep

The scope encompasses everything you’re going to do and not going to do. The reason why most projects fail is that they do not have a baseline. Interestingly, a majority of project managers have clear project objectives, but due to scope creep, most of them think their projects are doomed right from the start. To reduce the chances of a project failing, it’s vital that you have clearly defined project scopes that do not often change otherwise, it’ll be hard to cope with scope creep. 

Poor Project Handling 

Project mishandling is another major issue that causes most projects to fail. There are many causes for poor project handling including working with non-certified and inexperienced project managers and a lack of skills amongst team members. Project management certification can be obtained by enrolling in one of Helix Learning's courses online. Such issues could considerably hinder project progress. It is vital that you conduct monthly or weekly meetings and remember to hold team members accountable for everything they do and monitor project progress on a regular basis. By keeping things organized and working towards achieving a common goal, it becomes easier to identify issues as they arise allowing you to take solid steps to solve problems so that they don’t affect your project negatively.

Poor Communication 

A lot of people working on a single project will only understand what the project’s needs and its scope by how the project manager communicates. Poor communication is another major cause of project failure since all stakeholders need to be on the same page when it comes to the goals of the project and the implementation of different project aspects. It is vital that project managers be unambiguous and clear communicators or else confusion and chaos will ensue. 

No Risk Management 

Every project is different and unique in its own way, which means each will come with its own uncertainties. When trying to quantify and quality uncertainty, we call that risk. It’s incumbent for project managers to anticipate things that could go wrong proactively. Where project handlers don’t take the time to consider things that might go wrong, then it will be hard to know how to respond, avoid or mitigate specific risks as they occur, which, consequently, will lead to project failure.

Monitoring and Controlling 

Most project managers create a schedule and rarely or never update it. And if they actually do, they just fill in the percentage done, which is usually an arbitrary randomly picked number by one of the team members. If there isn’t proper monitoring, then it becomes hard to control and manage different aspects of the projects, which means that it will be hard to tell how much work has been accomplished and to estimate how much work remains.

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