Five Common Causes Leading to Projects Failure

Originally published: April 16, 2022 12:58:52 PM, updated: April 16, 2022 01:51:30 PM

Organizational project management includes: to do the right project and to do it right. Project success means to complete the project within the agreed upon scope, time, cost, and defined quality, in other terms managing project is part of organizational project management.

According to our experience in project management as practitioners and consultants, we strongly believe that project failure might be due to the organizational project management structure and process rather than the project management itself, here are some common issues within the organizational project management that may lead to project failure:

  • Project Governance: Project governance is the framework for how project decisions are made. Project governance therefore drive all these points like policies, regulations, functions, processes and procedure, and responsibilities. In other terms, what to do, when, how, and by whom? For example, when the business case spawn more than one project; do those projects should be managed from program management perspective or project management perspective first? Many factors should be considered in this example for the right decision, the issue here is: how the available resources will be managed to enhance those projects success. For the same example how business value will be defined and managed? And who will own the realized benefit? Unclear business value definition and management will limitthe project success chance.

  • Collaboration points: Project success in most cases depends on the product right, clear, and sufficient level of details from the business analysis team, this is just an example. Project team is responsible for project requirements, while business analysis team is responsible for the product requirements. Now how and when to collaborate is critical for project success and will impact the anticipated outcomes, again it is just an example. Many parties often work together within the organizational project management like product owner, sponsor, portfolio and program management, etc, thus lake of clear points of collaborations between all parties may lead to project failure and losing the desired benefits.

  • Project Management Approach: Which project management approach is more suitable for a certain project? Plan-driven, change driven, or hybrid approach. Did you perform scope exposure before determining the best management approach for your project considering the business value and other project competing demands? The answer for this question will tell you about project success chance.

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  • Absence of benefit management plan and Product road map: Benefit plan could be defined as the action plan that translate the product road map and realizes the desired benefit according to the business need considering resources availability, priority, and feasibility as a part of portfolio and program management efforts, moreover, it is a key input for project team and facilitate decision making process among stakeholders, and performing alternatives analysis at the project level, that is critical for project success.

  • Poor project Charter: Project charter has a certain components and contents that help project team and key stakeholders to learn about the project to better manage expectations, anticipated outcomes, plan properly, etc. For example, unclear or realistic project purpose, objectives, and unclear strategic alignment may lead to high frequency of change requests and may lead to project failure accordingly, this is one possible impact in this example.

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Written by: Eng. Mohammad Emran PMP, PMI-PBA, CMC, BPM, CXP, MCTS