Six common causes of project failure - and what to do about them.
News and views
As Risk Happens! approaches the bookshop shelves, let's go to the source of the problem: project failure.
Project failure seems to be almost endemic at the moment. There are frequent press reports of massively over-spent Government projects, and major commercial project delayed or cancelled. Anyone who works in a big organisation will have seen it up close, but we are now living through a time when our institutions and corporations can least afford investments that do not deliver results.
In Risk Happens! I identify ten of the commonest reasons why projects fail. Each one is strategic, predictable and, most important can be avoided. Here, I will examine the first six of them.
1. Goal and Objectives
Invest time up front getting a strong definition signed off by strategic level managers.
Prioritise stakeholder management at all stages of your project.
Unless you have clear and committed sponsorship, fold the project now.
Plan time into your programme to engage positively with the inevitable resistance.
If you can’t secure experienced project managers, provide high levels of training and support.
Stress-test your plans and never
consider them complete without full risk mitigation and contingency plans
Time Orientation and
Lessons from The Apprentice
Yesterday, I looked at Jim Eastwood, today at Susan Ma and tomorrow at Natasha Scribbins (the link won't work until 10am on 6 July). Last week I examined Melody Hossaini, Tom Pellereau and Helen Milligan.
Risk Happens! is my favourite book to date. It is the book I wanted to write about project risk, and there are no constraints imposed by a series format. There is more in this than in any of the competing titles and it is suitable for new project managers whilst offering something new to experienced hands.
Whether you are organising an event or promoting your business, or you are leading a multimillion pound project, Risk Happens! will give you the tools to manage risk and avoid failure.
Stronger Impact - 4
The event will be from 9am to 1pm on 4 October, at Fetcham Park House in Surrey. You will hear me speak on business influence and how to present a persuasive argument, and Angela will explain how having the right professional image and business etiquette will give a great boost to your profile.
Influence - scientifically
Brilliant Project Leader is with Pearson's copy editor. I am looking forward tremendously to publication in December.
Brilliant Project Leader
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