There are many potential reasons why a project may be heading towards failure. Some are easy to spot and easy to rectify, others may indicate more deep-rooted issues which can derail the best-laid plans. In this post we look at a few signs to recognise which may indicate your project is heading towards failure.
Does the project align or tie into the organisation’s objectives and vision? Does the business case provide the correct motivation for implementing the project or change? If you are unable to easily and clearly tie the project purpose and goals back to organisation-wide objectives you may need to ask the question ‘why are we delivering this project?’ Moving ahead without having a clear understanding of why the project is beneficial to the organisation is potentially a huge mistake.
Competing priorities is a common challenge across organisations. This issue can simply come down to strong leadership. If leadership cannot agree on priorities it can lead to issues such as resource capacity and commitment. Alongside the competing priorities there are usually too many projects or initiatives on the go at any point in time, creating pinch points with timelines, resourcing, scheduling and budgets. This is a sign that should sound an alarm on a project.
Project sponsors or senior executives are the champions of the project. Part of their role is to provide the required support to the project manager and the project team throughout the lifecycle of the project. Absence, disinterest and not providing input when risks or issues require executive direction, are all signs that the project may need to go back to the drawing board before it heads for failure. Ongoing sponsor and executive buy-in, from initiation to completion, is vital to a project’s success.