Main Reasons of Project Failure

The success of any organization is closely connected with successful realization of projects! Can you name any significant initiatives or improvements carried out by the company which are not connected with, at least, one project? In my opinion, there are no organizations which don’t use project management software in their work. Some of them make use of Basecamp, JIRA, Comindware, etc., others prefer using their own ones.

The success of projects automatically leads to the success of the whole organization, while the failure of the project results in its breakdown. We can distinguish three main factors for ensuring the success of the project.

Absence of an appointed project manager

There are many situations when a project team is a group of colleagues but nobody has been appointed a project manager or nobody wants to take this responsibility since every member of the team is busy with their own tasks and can’t perform some other functions. Each department involved in the project considers that the role of a project manager should be imposed on a specialist from another department.

But there’s nothing more important for the success of the project than its leader. There are many reasons for this. For example, the project leader has to define the goals of the project; the project leader has to contribute to the development of the project plan with clearly set tasks, milestones and distributed responsibility. The project leader has to predict problems and provide task execution on time and within the budget. And finally, the project leader has to inform the parties involved on the course of the project.

Absence of clearly-defined goals and expectations

The consequence of absence of an appointed manager is the absence of clear expectations and goals. Even the best project manager can’t complete the project successfully without clearly defined goals and aims at the beginning of the project. What is the aim of the project? Why is this aim important for the organization? How will each member of the team contribute to the defined goal? Is the aim of the project well-defined? Is the deadline obvious?

Communication problems

Communication problems can easily fail even the best projects. You and your project can suffer from misunderstanding and confusion. Alongside with typical questions, there are many other communication problems – from cultural and language barriers to functional barriers, that appear when, for example, the specialist from the sales department communicates with the technical specialist from the finance department. Such problems can become a serious obstacle.

Communication is essential. Very often you will have to repeat the most important information on the project several times. Try to communicate it to the team in different ways. Use different communication tools and means. Send reminders. Never stop the process of information exchange.

If you are able to cope with these three reasons of a project failure, you will be able to complete the project on time, within the agreed budget, and in accordance with the customer’s requirements and expectations.