Project failure is something that all almost all project managers will face at some stage. After all, there are so many things that could derail a project and send it completely off track. Do you feel like your project could be failing but you’re not sure why? As you will have discovered during project management training, you cannot get your project back on track unless you spend time getting to the root cause of the issue, and the sooner you do this, the better. With that in mind, continue reading to discover some of the more surprising reasons for project failure.
Eyes have glazed over
Are you seeing a number of significant at-risk items, despite your meticulous Gantt charting? Perhaps you are hearing a lot of people say things like “I thought I already done that” and “oh, I missed that.” If this is the case, it is likely that eyes have glazed over. No matter how many project management courses you take and how many tools you use, technology cannot tell the full picture regarding the project status. Individual tasks can often get lost amid all of the boxes and lines, and priorities may be unclear. This is why you need to make sure that your plan and the information in it can be viewed from different perspectives and in different manners, so the individual viewing it knows exactly what is required and there is no miscommunication so no one wastes any time.
People are moving in different directions
In most cases, this will be easy to spot, especially during project meetings, which will have become consistently argumentative or contentious. Other indicators that people are moving in different directions include when decisions are being made out of view of the team and select people are being removed from responses to group emails. This happens due to poor communication and a lack of alignment. This could mean that the project has not been aligned with your bigger business strategy or that individual team members are not aligned with each other. Of course, it could be both! Creating a successful communication plan is a good place to start to rectify this issue.
You have lost sight of where you are meant to be going
You can spot this through missing action items, communications falling through the cracks, and conflicting or redundant activities. It tends to happen because it is easy for team members to lose sight of the clear problem that has bee established and agreed on. Creating a single source of truth, so that people do not get lost in a sea of programs, apps, meetings, IMs, texts, and emails, can help with this.
As you can see, there are a number of different reasons why your project may be heading for failure. Nevertheless, hopefully, you will have gotten to the bottom of where you are going wrong with your project at the moment. No matter whether eyes have glazed over or people are moving in different directions, use the advice that has been provided to get your project back on track.