Can you spot the red flags of potential project failure? Learning to avoid the most common reasons for project failure will help you identify possible problems in the future. Here are the biggest project failure red flags.
Lack of Leadership
Every project needs a leader. Typically this is the visionary that championed the project’s concept in the first place. But sometimes, for reasons that vary, a project leader may be chosen for other reasons, whether they be for tactical skills, leadership or political motivations. Without a strong leader, one who can build relationships and motivate others, the project will not even get off the ground.
Everyone is in Charge
Otherwise known as the ‘power struggle.’ This can be just as fatal as a lack of leadership. A power struggle dilutes the focus of delivering the agreed upon objectives.
A strong project manager will be able to handle the delicate balance maintaining the power dynamics within a project team and delivering consistent results.
Stakeholders’ perception of success and failure is pivotal in deeming a project successful. If stakeholders are disengaged, it will lead to your team not accomplishing the desired results.
Project managers must get the buy-in of key stakeholders first and foremost. Without stakeholder involvement, you run a risk of stakeholder resentment towards the project. Engaging stakeholders can be as simple as scheduling update meetings and communicating to explain project milestones, metrics and problems in terms the stakeholders understand.
The Team is not Right
Projects are a result of the people and processes that make up the project. In the true sense, there’s no magic formula to ‘choosing’ the right team. When assembling any group of people, the human elements of personality, skill set, drive, ambition and behavior need to be factored into the configuration.
Successful teams are the result of embracing and encouraging close collaboration, knowledge sharing and team spirit. All three are crucial to project success. Why? If the project team is dysfunctional, fragmented and antagonistic, communication will break down, leading to an environment that diverts attention away from the project.
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