The past two weeks I have addressed 2 or my top 3 reasons for project failure.
We started with lousy requirements. The day should be gone when professional project managers take on a new project without clear, well researched and documented customer requirements and detailed specifications on the project. But unbelievably, we still do and we wonder why it all blows up in our faces mid-stream.
Then we went to poor change management practices. Things changes – all the time. We should understand this and be prepared for it – any time within the life-cycle of the project. Without embracing change management within our projects we are sure to be at risk of another failure.
Today, the last in my list of top 3 reasons projects fail is a little out-of-the-box thinking. Egos get in the way of project success.
Team members, project managers or owners can be guilty of:
- taking on more than they are able to
- hiding reality from stakeholders for fear of looking bad
- believing they can do it all without turning to their team
- failing to hire the right people for the job
These are all contributing factors to project failure. Big egos have a very tough time giving up the reins. They fear that no one can do it all as well as themselves. Big egos need to step aside for the sake of the success of projects.
Just to be clear, big egos can get in the way of success in those large corporate projects as well. No projects are immune from the risk of an strong ego afraid of looking weak.
Late, over budget, out of scope project delivery means your project failed. Great project managers will look carefully for the reasons why. Brave project managers may have to admit that they didn’t know enough about the customers needs, they weren’t prepared for change or they themselves got in the way during the process.
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