Causes of Project Failure

A project is a unique responsibility which is full of risk and ambiguity. The main reason behind its complexity is that the defined concept has not been done before using that particular method. Project management is a response to this uncertainty. It’s a way to control the unknown circumstances that can happen and the ways to control them. Main responsibility of Project managers is to define scope, analyse requirements, plan and estimate work, manage risks, track changes and check the quality. These techniques are designed to control uncertainty and plan for the things that could go wrong. Every project starts with a great enthusiasm and no expectation of failure. There comes a situation where a simple and straight forward project can cause problems and can eventually manifest itself to failure. I have read some common causes that can bring disasters to the success of any project [1].

  • Poorly defined project scope
  • Inadequate risk management
  • Failure to identify key assumptions
  • Project managers who lack experience and training
  • Lack of effective communication at all levels
  • Key staff leaving the project and/or company
  • Poor management of expectations
  • Ineffective leadership
  • Lack of detailed documentation
  • Failure to track requirements
  • Failure to track progress
  • Lack of detail in the project plans
  • Inaccurate time and effort estimates
  • Cultural differences in global projects

Human inventiveness is not enough to make projects happen. Proper project management control along with excellent leadership, engineers, clients and stakeholders are needed to identify these unknown factors. We need to keep an eye on the possible causes of these failures and then try our best that these are not repeated in ongoing or future projects.



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