If your business is undertaking to deliver projects, especially under contract, it is worth thinking about what causes a project to fail, and how to avoid it.
In the context of both large and small businesses, we see project failure coming down to three main areas of deficiency. They are as follows:
Risk - Many project leaders and team members do not have a clear view of the risks that apply to their project, or potential mitigation strategies that could be employed. We recommend risk brainstorming as a team, working through each stage of the project, and identifying potential issues or areas of uncertainty. Each risk then needs a mitigation plan, and an owner who is responsible for managing it.
Requirements - Each project needs a defined and agreed specification that details the required output or deliverables. All relevant stakeholders should sign-off on this to avoid uncertainty and confusion about what is actually being undertaken. It's also worth noting that this is a 'living' document, and can be updated throughout the project via a change process.
Communication - A potential major cause of project failure is the lack, or breakdown, of communication between stakeholders. At project launch, it's worth considering the flow of information required for informed decision making to take place. What information needs to be captured, communicated and reviewed, and by whom?
If you have thoughts or comments on the above, we would love to hear from you. Write a comment below and let us know of your own experiences. Please don't hesitate to get in touch about consultancy, business growth or strategic advice.