This post is going to be a bit controversial, why because there are definitely more than just 3 reasons why projects fail. It is however surprising that projects do fail when you look at all the different processes and methodologies out there, not to mention books and apps that are specifically designed to make projects get implemented on time, within scope and on budget.
So why do projects still fail? It can’t just be down to lack of clarity, poor communication or scope creep, to name but a few. No, from my experience it comes down one word ‘People’ broken down into the following 3 reasons, 1. Inexperienced Project Managers, 2. Lack of Project Management Training, and 3. Wrong people assigned.
1. Inexperienced Project Managers
Let me ask you a question, if you had a $5m IT project would you assign it do an IT Manager that had never managed a complex IT project before? I suspect your answer is no. However, this is precisely what organisations actually do. They assume because the person has IT and Manager in their title, that they should be the project manager. And this happens time and again, which is why it’s commonly referred to as the ‘accidental project manager’. So to avoid this problem, the right person with experience should be the project manager.
2. Lack of Project Management Training
After you’ve read this article go and check out your organisations training department, and ask them how often project management training courses are run, and who attends them? I suspect the answer will be “I don’t know” to both. And here lies the problem. Project Management training isn’t just exclusive to the project manager. If your organisation runs regular projects, then project management training should be something that all departments go through in some shape or form. Why? So that they understand when their departments are involved why certain process and procedures are being followed.
3. Wrong people assigned
In keeping with the above theme, if the people who are working on the project themselves have not been properly vetted, this then ads to the potential of tasks and activities not being carried out as they should. If someone involved in the project doesn’t have previous experience, then you’re only going to find out after the event. So it’s important to make sure all the people involved in your project have previous successful project management experience, but more importantly in doing the task they have been assigned, as this will significantly improve the chances of your project being a success in the end.
Let me know if you agree with me?
If you’re a new or experienced project manager looking to increase confidence and gain greater awareness in your abilities in managing complex projects, then you may be interested in my Project Manager Leadership Accelerator Program. Simply send me a DM message, or email here firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.