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What do projects fail?

What are the reasons why a project manager fails to successfully deliver a project?

Is there are a way to ensure success ?
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In my opinion, early identification of risks is one of the critical factors in success of a project. If a project manager fails in identifying risks and planning for risk responses, the project can be hampered in terms of cost/schedule and dive into an unrecoverable path. Best way to overcome this is to involve every possible stakeholder in the risk identification process.

Joey -

there is no way to ensure success but a disciplined approach to project management should increase the likelihood of success. This means not cutting corners, appropriate use of PM tools (e.g. charter), and exceptional focus on stakeholder management and other soft knowledge areas.


Success comes with a lot of things and I agree with the above mentioned from Kiron.... There's no way to ensure success but to anticipate change and apply frequent principles/methods that contribute to a successful project. Using tools/techniques to help execute a project is definitely key and utilizing the right resources and managing accordingly to the project to ensure satisfaction to the client.

More than one interesting question to answer. 1-whay project fail? If we agree that project objectives ara the meassure to decide if a project fail or not then you will find that project objectives are incorrectly stated. Most of the times project objectives are related to product not to project. 2-why a project manager fail? if we agree that project manager success if defined by achieving ptoject objectives then point 1 is a reason while we can add others. 3-is there any way to ensure success? By taking into account point 1 and 2. No matter than the reality is made based on probability.

From needs assessment to Closing at any stage project can fail all are the factors affecting it.

No way to ensure the success of project but there are many ways to improve the rate of success. Doing the thing right is very different from doing the right thing. Assuming that we are doing thing in the right way but thing itself is not the right thing (no value to business) then ultimately we fail, project fail.

Project Managers are often not prepared for "reality-gap" events (i.e. those things which shouldn’t happen under formal methods and processes). When hit with one of these events, an unseasoned PM may knee-jerk a response that negatively impacts the trajectory of the project, leading to some form of "missing the mark".

The list is long, but are usually items that one believes will not happen, because they have been addressed in the charter or through other means or commitments.

- Immutable or Unaligned Objectives
- Periculophobia (Risk Phobia)
- Rationed Knowledge
- Sponsors not “Covering” (i.e. Protecting) the Project
- Empowerment Issues

Although our processes and as Kiron stated “disciplined approaches” are our best defense, we also need to be prepared for the unknown-unknowns. Stated another way; we need to have contingency plans in place for political mayhem, as in my experience it will never go away – and by the way, we don’t want it to as "it keeps up employed".

It depends on which case but mostly at initial all stakeholder, requirements, risk, schedule, cost should be identified and approved, and ensure they should me monitored periodically!!!

Good input from the group.

I would like to add a weak Project Charter that will affect the Project Scope.

Really great answers everyone.
Like George said - the fact that it's complicated keeps us employed :-)
If it was easy and we always stuck to the plan and the project charter and scope was perfectly defined and everyone collaborated there would be no need for project managers LOL.
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If you look at it, manure isn't such a bad word. You got the "newer" and the "ma" in front of it. Manure.

- George Costanza