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PROJECT MANAGEMENT SPECIALISTS   


Why Projects Fail
 
 

Definition of Project Success and Failure.

Projects are successful if they deliver the required result within schedule and within budget.

If any one or more of these criteria are not met then the project has failed. Many project failure statistics have been published, and they mostly indicate that more than half of all projects fail.

Some Reasons for Project Failure.

Understanding why aspects of a project can fail is the key to understanding what needs to be done in order to improve the chances that a project will be successful.

 

 Parthenon Consultancy for project management, safety training and business books Lack of executive support and stakeholder involvement
 Parthenon Consultancy for project management, safety training and business books Conflicts between stakeholders
 Parthenon Consultancy for project management, safety training and business books Failure to produce or update the Business Case
 Parthenon Consultancy for project management, safety training and business books Unrealistic time or resource estimates
 Parthenon Consultancy for project management, safety training and business books Unclear or changing goals and objectives 
 Parthenon Consultancy for project management, safety training and business books Scope creep or feature creep
 Parthenon Consultancy for project management, safety training and business books Lack of a change control system
 Parthenon Consultancy for project management, safety training and business books Poor or absent quality control 
 Parthenon Consultancy for project management, safety training and business books Lack of adequate planning 
 Parthenon Consultancy for project management, safety training and business books Failure to communicate and act as a team
 Parthenon Consultancy for project management, safety training and business books Poor or no requirements definition
 Parthenon Consultancy for project management, safety training and business books Lack of required resources
 Parthenon Consultancy for project management, safety training and business books Staff with Inappropriate skills 

Problems with Middle and Senior Management Attitudes.

Middle and senior management attitudes that can contribute to project failure include:

 

 Parthenon Consultancy for project management, safety training and business books Political decisions to exclude some stakeholders from consultation
 Parthenon Consultancy for project management, safety training and business books Appointment of a hard-hitting "firefighter" project manager to a project that requires a strategic thinker
 Parthenon Consultancy for project management, safety training and business books Lack of knowledge of how to implement culture change
 Parthenon Consultancy for project management, safety training and business books Petty disputes between senior individuals or departments cause stagnation 
 Parthenon Consultancy for project management, safety training and business books Lack of feedback of failure warning signals from staff due to a culture of management by edict
 Parthenon Consultancy for project management, safety training and business books Failure to have or to communicate the business case leads to a lack of direction
 Parthenon Consultancy for project management, safety training and business books Viewing project management as merely the ability to use a project planning software tool, whereas it is the orchestration of human resources to capture requirements, plan the project, report progress, control risks and formally accept what the project delivers
 Parthenon Consultancy for project management, safety training and business books Budget restrictions limit the upfront investment of time, causing downstream costs when correcting problems that were avoidable

Project management is primarily a philosophy of people management. It is not just a technique, software tool or an administrative function. 

True Project Management requires an "active" manager, not a "reactive" one 

The Bull Survey
The Chaos Report
The KPMG Canada Survey
The OASIG Survey
The OGC Project Failure Statement


To find out more about how Parthenon can help you call 020 8244 0737.

 

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