Why does any project fail? What is the cause behind it?
Every project is different, the permutations & combinations involved in every project are distinct. Some may have a time crunch, others might demand higher quality or may be a stringent combination of both. Therefore, the very basic rule to be understood for effective Project Management is that methods for accomplishing any project are diverse. Most of the organizations work on “One Size fits all” fundamentals, which results in over 60% of the project either being challenged or completely failed. In a maximum number of attempts, the traditional approaches fail to come up with the desired outcomes. Other possible reasons for a project not talking off or running smoothly can be shoe-string budgets, unexpected delays, underestimating the time requirements, and issues arising due to them. Here in this article, we are discussing the 10 most promising mistakes for a project that can lead to disaster and their potential preventions.
1 Skill Mismatch:
Allocating project to someone who is unfit to lead
Prevention: Rather than being restless about hiring more resources of every role, we should first focus on finding the right Project Manager with the closest match of skill set for the project.
2 Failing to get the best out of everyone involved:
This is a very common scenario. Professionals who are not directly involved in the project are least bothered about its accomplishment. The ambiguity of responsibilities, absence of work evaluation and failure to create a sense of urgency are other significant factors.
Prevention: Ensuring everyone’s involvement and ascertaining the guidelines, goals and benefits (especially for an individual) are well described & presented to each member involved either directly/indirectly.
3 Absence of a Potential Leader and supervision throughout:
Any task if not led well and a consistent supervision is not done then it is very likely to fail.
Prevention: Constant direction and profound experience of a leader is very important for a project to succeed.
4 Jack of all trades, master of none:
Putting too many projects into action may seem like a Eureka Idea, but it is not. There are high chances we cannot focus on any of them, leading to failure of all.
Prevention: The solution to this requires a trade-off between time and quality but by increasing the time a bit, quality can be immensely improved along with minimal failure percentage.
5 Communication is the key:
Miscommunication between professionals carrying out a project can no doubt disappoint everyone at once. Genuine but direction-less effort can result in taking the project nowhere.
Prevention: Consistently arranging meetings to evaluate and foresee the progress of the project is very essential. These meetings will also allow the top management and leaders to mentor accordingly along with approaching the common objective with a laser sharp focus.
6 Getting Over-optimistic might get you trapped:
Being enthusiastic is good, working on it is brilliant but, keeping some margin time is wise. We never know when and where anything will get stuck. People may leave, goals might get changed, the budget might get affected, natural catastrophe and so on.
Prevention: Always add margin time to the deadlines. Even if we are super confident or may have had a century of handling similar projects, extra time will give you the leverage to be at ease and enhance the quality; moreover there are bright chances you delivering the project way earlier than deadline which again increases the credibility with clients.
7 Robust rules lacks significant flexibility:
No two ways about it that we should stay rigid with the guidelines and deadlines but the absence of flexibility to any new suggestions may not be healthy for the project.
Prevention: Being open to new ideas and fruitful alterations adds value and new dimensions to a project. It gives clients a picture of the extra effort put into the project.
8 Being meticulous is great but unnecessary detailing will delay the project without adding value:
Sitting on a pile of materials to be reviewed doesn’t benefit the project or saves any time, furthermore it frustrates the team, leading to motivation and quality work taking a back-seat.
Prevention: Trust your team, organize a kick start meeting and then let them work. Sooner or Later you will get to know the progress, no point nagging your team day & night. Breathing down their neck will slow the process and lower the quality.
9 Relying entirely on software is not the best idea:
A software might give you a streamlined project with clear progress and deadlines. What it can’t explain is the underlying progress and work development.
Prevention: Utilize the software, but don’t get too dependent on that. Make the whole team understand the software but never underestimate the thinking capabilities of the man as compared to the software.
10 Clarifying the goal:
If there is any confusion or miscommunication between the Project Manager and the client, it can lead to complete failure of a project in spite of everything being inline.
Prevention: Initiate with a clear understanding with the client. Clarify the ultimate goal of the project and keep reviewing the same at regular intervals to avoid any confusion and last minute discrepancies.