SlideShare a Scribd company logo
TOP TEN REASONS
WHY PROJECTS FAIL
Jim Stewart, PMP
JPStewart Associates
2




Learning points

• Learn to recognize the ten project failure signs in your
  organization.
• Understand what commonly used solution is not
  necessarily a solution at all.
• Learn the basics of risk management, one of the top ten
  reasons for project failure.
3




The nature of the problem


• A staggering 39% of projects with budgets over US
  $10 million failed.
• *The Standish Group, "CHAOS 2007 REX: A Standish
  Group Research Exchange." 2007.
4




Why projects fail
• There are many reasons that projects fail. If you talk to
  any project manager who has been practicing for a while,
  he or she will give you a list of reasons, some valid, some
  not.
• This list is my own opinion formed from running many
  projects and consulting on others in various stages of
  completion.
Project Maturity Levels




                          5
6




Reason # 1- Scope creep
• Project scope is the sum total of all the work you are
  going to do (and not do) on the project.
• It is important, first, to define all the work via some
  mechanism, so Work Breakdown Structure, scope
  statement, etc.
• This is best done in a meeting with the entire team. It
  serves, at least, two purposes: having a meeting of the
  minds on deliverables and getting team buy-in.
• Solution is to have rigidly defined scope up front and a
  rigorous change control process in place.
7




WBS example – developing scope
8




Reason # 2 - Resources
• Resources of the human kind are frequently over-
  allocated. No one in the organization seems to know who
  is working on what at any given time.
• Since resources are the heart and soul of any endeavor,
  the schedule is only as good as your faith in resources
  being able to show up and work as expected.
• Another problem is that many schedules are created
  which show serious over-allocation on specific projects. It
  is not uncommon to see resources scheduled 24 hours
  per day!
• One solution is to have managers gather each week and,
  using spreadsheets, plan resource needs.
9




Over allocated resources in Project
10




Reason #3 - Communications
• The Project Management Body of Knowledge dedicates
  an entire Knowledge Area to Communications.
• It‟s my contention that the average person is not a very
  good communicator. They either don‟t answer emails or
  only answer half of the questions asked.
• You should insist on getting team members trained in
  communications so they are connecting at a very high
  level.
• You might also consider the creation of a Communications
  Management Plan which details which stakeholders will
  get what information when and by what means.
11


 Communications Management Plan
Stakeholder   Method           Frequency    Type            Notes

Sponsor       PowerPoint       Weekly      Status
                                           update
Team          Email            Weekly      Status; action   Meetings
                                           items            should be
                                                            held face-to-
                                                            face.
Senior        PowerPoint       Monthly     Status; action
management                                 items
Steering      PowerPoint;      Quarterly   Status; action
committee     status reports               items; go/no
                                           go report
12




Reason #4 - Stakeholder Management
• A stakeholder has a vested interest in your project for
  good or for ill.
• The first step in this process is identifying stakeholders
  according to their power, influence, and interest.
• Once you know who your stakeholders are, you can
  develop a strategy for dealing with each one. This leads
  somewhat back to the previous Communications
  Management Plan.
• Keep stakeholders informed before and during the
  project.
Stakeholder quadrant




                                                                                 Key player
                                                                              Weekly updates
                                     Bi-Weekly updates
                                                                            Monthly presentations
Power/influence of stakeholders




                                  Keep informed periodically                     Bi-Weekly updates




                                                      Interest of stakeholders
14




Reason #5 – Estimates
• There is more art than science when most team members
  make estimates of time for tasks.
• When asked for an estimate, they will usually pull a
  number out of the air based, perhaps, on the last time
  they did a similar task.
• Many project managers on hearing the estimate, will add
  some „fudge factor‟ based on their knowledge of the team
  member.
• A solution here is to keep historical data for all estimates.
  Ultimately you will have and maintain a database that will
  keep your estimates more accurate.
15




Some common estimating techniques
• Historical – keep records of all estimates and use them as
  reference for future projects.
• PERT – (Optimistic + (4XMost Likely) + Pessimistic)/6
• Three point (Optimistic + Most Likely + Pessimistic)/3
• Best case or worst case estimate




You will have to determine what works in your
environment.
16




Reason #6 - Risk
• Many project managers do not manage their risks or even
  know what they are.
• The process of risk management is not very difficult. What
  tends to be more challenging is keeping at it over a period
  of time.
• Another challenge is that you may have to sell risk
  management to senior management. They are often
  skeptical of doing tasks and spending money in advance
  for something that may never happen.
• A solution is to do risk management on a smaller, less
  impactful project to see its benefits.
17




Probability/Impact Matrix
18




Risk response options
• Avoid – Remove the possibility of the risk occurring by
  removing the task or item that causes the risk.
• Transfer – Move the risk over to some third party either by
  insuring or subcontracting
• Mitigate – Reduce the probability or impact of the risk‟s
  occurrence by taking proactive steps.
• Accept – Do nothing.
19




Reason #7 – Unsupported project culture
• Many people do not even know what project management
  is or what a PM does.
• This lack of knowledge sometimes transfers over to
  corporations who fail to understand the role.
• Consequently, projects are not treated seriously enough.
  Schedules are handed off to junior people or secretaries,
  sometimes without the proper tools.
• The only solution here is education, especially at the
  senior management level.
20


Reason #8 – The Accidental Project
Manager
• Similar to the unsupported project manager, this takes it a
  step further.
• In this instance, an accomplished person is promoted to
  project manager. He may have been successful in, say, a
  technical role, but it does not mean he will be successful
  in a PM role.
• The technical role may have had him relating to
  machines. The PM role will require that he perform the
  delicate balance of interpersonal skills.
• As in the previous reason, the only solution here is
  education of both management and PM.
21




Reason #9 – Team Planning Sessions
• Ideally, you will bring the entire team together for a one or
  two-day session to plan the project.
• This serves several purposes. One is that it brings often
  far-flung teams together to meet and discuss issues.
  Another is that it brings much needed expertise to the PM
  so that she may create necessary project artifacts (WBS,
  schedule, risk register).
• This is a best practice and as such, should be aimed for.
  But if you are unable to bring the team together, it can
  work if you create, say, a WBS and circulate it among the
  team. Not optimal but much better than not doing it at all.
22




Reason # 10 – Monitoring and Controlling
• M&C is all about setting baselines, monitoring for variance
    and, if need be, taking corrective action.
•   Many people don‟t record actuals and hope that the
    schedule doesn‟t run over.
•   Merely using % complete in your schedule won‟t tell you
    how the actuals have affected the schedule.
•   You should be thinking about how to measure
    completeness. For one example, you can use milestones
    to measure progress.
•   This is a lot better than asking the team member for how
    “done” he is. How would she measure that?
23


Bonus reason # 11- Fixing the wrong
problem.
• Sometimes managers, on realizing that their projects are
  out of control, reach for a quick fix.
• Often, they start sending people out for certifications or
  other training thinking that this will somehow solve the
  preceding problems. But while certification is good, in and
  of itself it won‟t solve the problem.
• You have to get to the root cause of the problem to
  determine if it makes sense to get people trained,
  certified, etc.
• Often the fix is not in training PM‟s but rather in having a
  culture that sets realistic deadlines with the right number
  of resources.
24




Actions going forward
• A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. –
  Chinese proverb
• Don‟t try to solve every problem all at once. Prioritize and
  attack.
• One way to do this is to tell your boss you want to improve
  process. Then add a process improvement challenge to
  your quarterly objectives. So, I will incorporate change
  management into the company by Q2.
• And if you don‟t get it by Q2, keep going anyway.
  Persistence will get you there.
25




Contact information

• Jim Stewart, PMP
• (781) 750-8748 (o)
• (781) 223-7218 (c)


• Linked In: http://www.linkedin.com/profile/edit?trk=hb_tab_pro_top
• Web Site: http://www.projmanage.com/
• Blog: http://theusefulpm.blogspot.com/
• Twitter: @JimPStewart

More Related Content

What's hot

PMP_Project Stakeholder Management
PMP_Project Stakeholder ManagementPMP_Project Stakeholder Management
PMP_Project Stakeholder Management
Hisham Haridy MBA, PMP®, RMP®, SP®
 
Project management
Project managementProject management
Project management
Al Amin Neaz Ahmed
 
Project management tools and techniques
Project management tools and techniquesProject management tools and techniques
Project management tools and techniques
Tata Dinyuy
 
Project Implementation
Project ImplementationProject Implementation
Project Implementation
Shidin Divakar
 
Roles of project managers in oe
Roles of project managers in oeRoles of project managers in oe
Roles of project managers in oe
Aswin prakash i , Xantus Technologies
 
Project Management Tools and Techniques
Project Management Tools and TechniquesProject Management Tools and Techniques
Project Management Tools and Techniques
MaRS Discovery District
 
Project management life cycle
Project management life cycleProject management life cycle
Project management life cycle
Andrei Crăciun
 
Project management
Project managementProject management
Project management
Jay Raval
 
An introduction to project management: Learning the basics
An introduction to project management:  Learning the basicsAn introduction to project management:  Learning the basics
An introduction to project management: Learning the basics
Paul Di Gangi
 
Elements of Project Management
Elements of Project ManagementElements of Project Management
Elements of Project Management
Kevin Thomas
 
Project Management Concepts
Project Management ConceptsProject Management Concepts
Project Management Concepts
Jeremy Jay V. Lim, MBB, PMP
 
Lec 03 project life cycle
Lec 03 project life cycleLec 03 project life cycle
Lec 03 project life cycle
SAJID ALI RUK
 
PMP Lecture 1: Introduction to Project Management
PMP Lecture 1: Introduction to Project ManagementPMP Lecture 1: Introduction to Project Management
PMP Lecture 1: Introduction to Project Management
Mohamed Loey
 
Project management
Project managementProject management
Project management
Simran Kaur
 
Introduce Project Management
Introduce Project ManagementIntroduce Project Management
Introduce Project Management
guest90bddb
 
Basic Principles of Project Management
Basic Principles of Project ManagementBasic Principles of Project Management
Basic Principles of Project Management
danieljohn810
 
Introduction to Project Management.pdf
Introduction to Project Management.pdfIntroduction to Project Management.pdf
Introduction to Project Management.pdf
GourhariBiswas1
 
Introduction to Project Management
Introduction to Project ManagementIntroduction to Project Management
Introduction to Project Management
Slav Karaslavov
 
Final Project Closing
Final Project ClosingFinal Project Closing
Final Project Closing
megat zainurul anuar
 
project management
project managementproject management
project management
Patrick McPartland, E.I.T.
 

What's hot (20)

PMP_Project Stakeholder Management
PMP_Project Stakeholder ManagementPMP_Project Stakeholder Management
PMP_Project Stakeholder Management
 
Project management
Project managementProject management
Project management
 
Project management tools and techniques
Project management tools and techniquesProject management tools and techniques
Project management tools and techniques
 
Project Implementation
Project ImplementationProject Implementation
Project Implementation
 
Roles of project managers in oe
Roles of project managers in oeRoles of project managers in oe
Roles of project managers in oe
 
Project Management Tools and Techniques
Project Management Tools and TechniquesProject Management Tools and Techniques
Project Management Tools and Techniques
 
Project management life cycle
Project management life cycleProject management life cycle
Project management life cycle
 
Project management
Project managementProject management
Project management
 
An introduction to project management: Learning the basics
An introduction to project management:  Learning the basicsAn introduction to project management:  Learning the basics
An introduction to project management: Learning the basics
 
Elements of Project Management
Elements of Project ManagementElements of Project Management
Elements of Project Management
 
Project Management Concepts
Project Management ConceptsProject Management Concepts
Project Management Concepts
 
Lec 03 project life cycle
Lec 03 project life cycleLec 03 project life cycle
Lec 03 project life cycle
 
PMP Lecture 1: Introduction to Project Management
PMP Lecture 1: Introduction to Project ManagementPMP Lecture 1: Introduction to Project Management
PMP Lecture 1: Introduction to Project Management
 
Project management
Project managementProject management
Project management
 
Introduce Project Management
Introduce Project ManagementIntroduce Project Management
Introduce Project Management
 
Basic Principles of Project Management
Basic Principles of Project ManagementBasic Principles of Project Management
Basic Principles of Project Management
 
Introduction to Project Management.pdf
Introduction to Project Management.pdfIntroduction to Project Management.pdf
Introduction to Project Management.pdf
 
Introduction to Project Management
Introduction to Project ManagementIntroduction to Project Management
Introduction to Project Management
 
Final Project Closing
Final Project ClosingFinal Project Closing
Final Project Closing
 
project management
project managementproject management
project management
 

Viewers also liked

Successful Project Presentation
Successful Project PresentationSuccessful Project Presentation
Successful Project Presentation
Colin Sullivan
 
The Project Management Process - Week 6 Leadership
The Project Management Process - Week 6   LeadershipThe Project Management Process - Week 6   Leadership
The Project Management Process - Week 6 Leadership
Craig Brown
 
10 reasons why projects fail or common mistakes to avoid
10 reasons why projects fail or common mistakes to avoid10 reasons why projects fail or common mistakes to avoid
10 reasons why projects fail or common mistakes to avoid
Marianna Semenova
 
Project Management (PMP Material)
Project Management (PMP Material)Project Management (PMP Material)
Project Management (PMP Material)
VR M
 
Factors for Successful Projects
Factors for Successful ProjectsFactors for Successful Projects
Factors for Successful Projects
Trevor Roberts
 
Critical Success Factors Affecting Project Performance in Turkish IT Sector -...
Critical Success Factors Affecting Project Performance in Turkish IT Sector -...Critical Success Factors Affecting Project Performance in Turkish IT Sector -...
Critical Success Factors Affecting Project Performance in Turkish IT Sector -...
systred
 
Why Projects Fail: Obstacles and Solutions
Why Projects Fail: Obstacles and SolutionsWhy Projects Fail: Obstacles and Solutions
Why Projects Fail: Obstacles and Solutions
Michael Krigsman
 
Challenges of Project Management “Communication & Collaboration-VSR
Challenges of Project Management “Communication & Collaboration-VSRChallenges of Project Management “Communication & Collaboration-VSR
Challenges of Project Management “Communication & Collaboration-VSR
VSR *
 
Standish Chaos Report - Cercle de Discussion - PMI Branche Midi-Pyrénées (Vi...
Standish Chaos Report  - Cercle de Discussion - PMI Branche Midi-Pyrénées (Vi...Standish Chaos Report  - Cercle de Discussion - PMI Branche Midi-Pyrénées (Vi...
Standish Chaos Report - Cercle de Discussion - PMI Branche Midi-Pyrénées (Vi...
Vincent Dumain
 
Construction economic
Construction economicConstruction economic
Construction economic
fauziani
 
Infrastructure impact on Indian economy
Infrastructure impact on Indian economyInfrastructure impact on Indian economy
Infrastructure impact on Indian economy
Srinivas Reddy Dwarampudi
 
Analyzing Project Failure Modes: Lessons learnt from the field
Analyzing Project Failure Modes: Lessons learnt from the fieldAnalyzing Project Failure Modes: Lessons learnt from the field
Analyzing Project Failure Modes: Lessons learnt from the field
cssa
 
Construction industry
Construction industryConstruction industry
Construction industry
anojan kanagarathnam
 
Role of infrastructure
Role of infrastructureRole of infrastructure
Role of infrastructure
mohishukla
 
Construction industry analysis
Construction industry analysisConstruction industry analysis
Construction industry analysis
Jarunat Jiraratsatit
 
Top Ten Reasons For Project Failure - PMP Webinar
Top Ten Reasons For Project Failure - PMP WebinarTop Ten Reasons For Project Failure - PMP Webinar
Top Ten Reasons For Project Failure - PMP Webinar
Whizlabs
 
Construction Supply Chain Management
Construction Supply Chain ManagementConstruction Supply Chain Management
Construction Supply Chain Management
Fayssal AL-KILANI
 
Pmi - Project Management Professional (Pmp) Certification Study Guide
Pmi - Project Management Professional (Pmp)   Certification Study GuidePmi - Project Management Professional (Pmp)   Certification Study Guide
Pmi - Project Management Professional (Pmp) Certification Study Guide
robsonnasc
 
Lecture 1 overview of the construction industry
Lecture 1  overview of the construction industryLecture 1  overview of the construction industry
Lecture 1 overview of the construction industry
JB Juanzon Builders Inc.
 
Role of infrastructure in economic development
Role of infrastructure in economic developmentRole of infrastructure in economic development
Role of infrastructure in economic development
Kashif Hussain
 

Viewers also liked (20)

Successful Project Presentation
Successful Project PresentationSuccessful Project Presentation
Successful Project Presentation
 
The Project Management Process - Week 6 Leadership
The Project Management Process - Week 6   LeadershipThe Project Management Process - Week 6   Leadership
The Project Management Process - Week 6 Leadership
 
10 reasons why projects fail or common mistakes to avoid
10 reasons why projects fail or common mistakes to avoid10 reasons why projects fail or common mistakes to avoid
10 reasons why projects fail or common mistakes to avoid
 
Project Management (PMP Material)
Project Management (PMP Material)Project Management (PMP Material)
Project Management (PMP Material)
 
Factors for Successful Projects
Factors for Successful ProjectsFactors for Successful Projects
Factors for Successful Projects
 
Critical Success Factors Affecting Project Performance in Turkish IT Sector -...
Critical Success Factors Affecting Project Performance in Turkish IT Sector -...Critical Success Factors Affecting Project Performance in Turkish IT Sector -...
Critical Success Factors Affecting Project Performance in Turkish IT Sector -...
 
Why Projects Fail: Obstacles and Solutions
Why Projects Fail: Obstacles and SolutionsWhy Projects Fail: Obstacles and Solutions
Why Projects Fail: Obstacles and Solutions
 
Challenges of Project Management “Communication & Collaboration-VSR
Challenges of Project Management “Communication & Collaboration-VSRChallenges of Project Management “Communication & Collaboration-VSR
Challenges of Project Management “Communication & Collaboration-VSR
 
Standish Chaos Report - Cercle de Discussion - PMI Branche Midi-Pyrénées (Vi...
Standish Chaos Report  - Cercle de Discussion - PMI Branche Midi-Pyrénées (Vi...Standish Chaos Report  - Cercle de Discussion - PMI Branche Midi-Pyrénées (Vi...
Standish Chaos Report - Cercle de Discussion - PMI Branche Midi-Pyrénées (Vi...
 
Construction economic
Construction economicConstruction economic
Construction economic
 
Infrastructure impact on Indian economy
Infrastructure impact on Indian economyInfrastructure impact on Indian economy
Infrastructure impact on Indian economy
 
Analyzing Project Failure Modes: Lessons learnt from the field
Analyzing Project Failure Modes: Lessons learnt from the fieldAnalyzing Project Failure Modes: Lessons learnt from the field
Analyzing Project Failure Modes: Lessons learnt from the field
 
Construction industry
Construction industryConstruction industry
Construction industry
 
Role of infrastructure
Role of infrastructureRole of infrastructure
Role of infrastructure
 
Construction industry analysis
Construction industry analysisConstruction industry analysis
Construction industry analysis
 
Top Ten Reasons For Project Failure - PMP Webinar
Top Ten Reasons For Project Failure - PMP WebinarTop Ten Reasons For Project Failure - PMP Webinar
Top Ten Reasons For Project Failure - PMP Webinar
 
Construction Supply Chain Management
Construction Supply Chain ManagementConstruction Supply Chain Management
Construction Supply Chain Management
 
Pmi - Project Management Professional (Pmp) Certification Study Guide
Pmi - Project Management Professional (Pmp)   Certification Study GuidePmi - Project Management Professional (Pmp)   Certification Study Guide
Pmi - Project Management Professional (Pmp) Certification Study Guide
 
Lecture 1 overview of the construction industry
Lecture 1  overview of the construction industryLecture 1  overview of the construction industry
Lecture 1 overview of the construction industry
 
Role of infrastructure in economic development
Role of infrastructure in economic developmentRole of infrastructure in economic development
Role of infrastructure in economic development
 

Similar to Top Ten Reasons Why Projects Fail

Project management and Success Criteria
Project management and Success Criteria Project management and Success Criteria
Project management and Success Criteria
ujjwal Mania
 
9 Common Challenges in the Software Development Process
9 Common Challenges in the Software Development Process9 Common Challenges in the Software Development Process
9 Common Challenges in the Software Development Process
Sattrix Software Solutions
 
10 Project Management Mistakes
10 Project Management Mistakes10 Project Management Mistakes
10 Project Management Mistakes
Orangescrum
 
Project management chap 2_final
Project management chap 2_finalProject management chap 2_final
Project management chap 2_final
Martin J. Schyns
 
it-Prepare-an-Actionable-Roadmap-for-Your-PMO-Phases-1-3-V2.pptx
it-Prepare-an-Actionable-Roadmap-for-Your-PMO-Phases-1-3-V2.pptxit-Prepare-an-Actionable-Roadmap-for-Your-PMO-Phases-1-3-V2.pptx
it-Prepare-an-Actionable-Roadmap-for-Your-PMO-Phases-1-3-V2.pptx
ssuserf016f4
 
importance of resources allocation in formal method of software engineering ...
 importance of resources allocation in formal method of software engineering ... importance of resources allocation in formal method of software engineering ...
importance of resources allocation in formal method of software engineering ...
abdulrafaychaudhry
 
Possible errors in projects and methods of avoiding and eliminating
Possible errors in projects and methods of avoiding and eliminatingPossible errors in projects and methods of avoiding and eliminating
Possible errors in projects and methods of avoiding and eliminating
SefaKOCAKALAY
 
Top 10 project mgt. problems
Top 10 project mgt. problemsTop 10 project mgt. problems
Top 10 project mgt. problems
Maksudul Munna
 
28.Causes of project failure A Lecture By Mr Allah Dad Khan Visiting Profes...
28.Causes of project failure   A Lecture By Mr Allah Dad Khan Visiting Profes...28.Causes of project failure   A Lecture By Mr Allah Dad Khan Visiting Profes...
28.Causes of project failure A Lecture By Mr Allah Dad Khan Visiting Profes...
Mr.Allah Dad Khan
 
Rules
RulesRules
Rules
Batranu89
 
Ben Mkt 347 Week 4
Ben Mkt 347 Week 4Ben Mkt 347 Week 4
Ben Mkt 347 Week 4
Robert Harris, Ph.D
 
Planning can we do with out it?
Planning can we do with out it?Planning can we do with out it?
Planning can we do with out it?
Catherine Bendell
 
Work shop project management
Work shop project managementWork shop project management
Work shop project management
rakeshsatpathy07
 
Project Management Overview
Project Management OverviewProject Management Overview
Project Management Overview
cford1973
 
Challenging Aspects of Modern Project Management
Challenging Aspects of Modern Project ManagementChallenging Aspects of Modern Project Management
Challenging Aspects of Modern Project Management
Yamanta Raj Niroula, PMP
 
ICT 4109.pdf
ICT 4109.pdfICT 4109.pdf
ICT 4109.pdf
RehnumahRimaa
 
Project managemen concept
Project managemen conceptProject managemen concept
Project managemen concept
Karthikeyan Subramanian
 
Chapter 2
Chapter 2Chapter 2
Chapter 2
uncleRhyme
 
Project management 02112009
Project management 02112009Project management 02112009
Project management 02112009
Manish Chaurasia
 
success and failure of project chapter 5.pptx
success and failure of project chapter 5.pptxsuccess and failure of project chapter 5.pptx
success and failure of project chapter 5.pptx
abdiazizsheikhomar
 

Similar to Top Ten Reasons Why Projects Fail (20)

Project management and Success Criteria
Project management and Success Criteria Project management and Success Criteria
Project management and Success Criteria
 
9 Common Challenges in the Software Development Process
9 Common Challenges in the Software Development Process9 Common Challenges in the Software Development Process
9 Common Challenges in the Software Development Process
 
10 Project Management Mistakes
10 Project Management Mistakes10 Project Management Mistakes
10 Project Management Mistakes
 
Project management chap 2_final
Project management chap 2_finalProject management chap 2_final
Project management chap 2_final
 
it-Prepare-an-Actionable-Roadmap-for-Your-PMO-Phases-1-3-V2.pptx
it-Prepare-an-Actionable-Roadmap-for-Your-PMO-Phases-1-3-V2.pptxit-Prepare-an-Actionable-Roadmap-for-Your-PMO-Phases-1-3-V2.pptx
it-Prepare-an-Actionable-Roadmap-for-Your-PMO-Phases-1-3-V2.pptx
 
importance of resources allocation in formal method of software engineering ...
 importance of resources allocation in formal method of software engineering ... importance of resources allocation in formal method of software engineering ...
importance of resources allocation in formal method of software engineering ...
 
Possible errors in projects and methods of avoiding and eliminating
Possible errors in projects and methods of avoiding and eliminatingPossible errors in projects and methods of avoiding and eliminating
Possible errors in projects and methods of avoiding and eliminating
 
Top 10 project mgt. problems
Top 10 project mgt. problemsTop 10 project mgt. problems
Top 10 project mgt. problems
 
28.Causes of project failure A Lecture By Mr Allah Dad Khan Visiting Profes...
28.Causes of project failure   A Lecture By Mr Allah Dad Khan Visiting Profes...28.Causes of project failure   A Lecture By Mr Allah Dad Khan Visiting Profes...
28.Causes of project failure A Lecture By Mr Allah Dad Khan Visiting Profes...
 
Rules
RulesRules
Rules
 
Ben Mkt 347 Week 4
Ben Mkt 347 Week 4Ben Mkt 347 Week 4
Ben Mkt 347 Week 4
 
Planning can we do with out it?
Planning can we do with out it?Planning can we do with out it?
Planning can we do with out it?
 
Work shop project management
Work shop project managementWork shop project management
Work shop project management
 
Project Management Overview
Project Management OverviewProject Management Overview
Project Management Overview
 
Challenging Aspects of Modern Project Management
Challenging Aspects of Modern Project ManagementChallenging Aspects of Modern Project Management
Challenging Aspects of Modern Project Management
 
ICT 4109.pdf
ICT 4109.pdfICT 4109.pdf
ICT 4109.pdf
 
Project managemen concept
Project managemen conceptProject managemen concept
Project managemen concept
 
Chapter 2
Chapter 2Chapter 2
Chapter 2
 
Project management 02112009
Project management 02112009Project management 02112009
Project management 02112009
 
success and failure of project chapter 5.pptx
success and failure of project chapter 5.pptxsuccess and failure of project chapter 5.pptx
success and failure of project chapter 5.pptx
 

Top Ten Reasons Why Projects Fail

  • 1. TOP TEN REASONS WHY PROJECTS FAIL Jim Stewart, PMP JPStewart Associates
  • 2. 2 Learning points • Learn to recognize the ten project failure signs in your organization. • Understand what commonly used solution is not necessarily a solution at all. • Learn the basics of risk management, one of the top ten reasons for project failure.
  • 3. 3 The nature of the problem • A staggering 39% of projects with budgets over US $10 million failed. • *The Standish Group, "CHAOS 2007 REX: A Standish Group Research Exchange." 2007.
  • 4. 4 Why projects fail • There are many reasons that projects fail. If you talk to any project manager who has been practicing for a while, he or she will give you a list of reasons, some valid, some not. • This list is my own opinion formed from running many projects and consulting on others in various stages of completion.
  • 6. 6 Reason # 1- Scope creep • Project scope is the sum total of all the work you are going to do (and not do) on the project. • It is important, first, to define all the work via some mechanism, so Work Breakdown Structure, scope statement, etc. • This is best done in a meeting with the entire team. It serves, at least, two purposes: having a meeting of the minds on deliverables and getting team buy-in. • Solution is to have rigidly defined scope up front and a rigorous change control process in place.
  • 7. 7 WBS example – developing scope
  • 8. 8 Reason # 2 - Resources • Resources of the human kind are frequently over- allocated. No one in the organization seems to know who is working on what at any given time. • Since resources are the heart and soul of any endeavor, the schedule is only as good as your faith in resources being able to show up and work as expected. • Another problem is that many schedules are created which show serious over-allocation on specific projects. It is not uncommon to see resources scheduled 24 hours per day! • One solution is to have managers gather each week and, using spreadsheets, plan resource needs.
  • 10. 10 Reason #3 - Communications • The Project Management Body of Knowledge dedicates an entire Knowledge Area to Communications. • It‟s my contention that the average person is not a very good communicator. They either don‟t answer emails or only answer half of the questions asked. • You should insist on getting team members trained in communications so they are connecting at a very high level. • You might also consider the creation of a Communications Management Plan which details which stakeholders will get what information when and by what means.
  • 11. 11 Communications Management Plan Stakeholder Method Frequency Type Notes Sponsor PowerPoint Weekly Status update Team Email Weekly Status; action Meetings items should be held face-to- face. Senior PowerPoint Monthly Status; action management items Steering PowerPoint; Quarterly Status; action committee status reports items; go/no go report
  • 12. 12 Reason #4 - Stakeholder Management • A stakeholder has a vested interest in your project for good or for ill. • The first step in this process is identifying stakeholders according to their power, influence, and interest. • Once you know who your stakeholders are, you can develop a strategy for dealing with each one. This leads somewhat back to the previous Communications Management Plan. • Keep stakeholders informed before and during the project.
  • 13. Stakeholder quadrant Key player Weekly updates Bi-Weekly updates Monthly presentations Power/influence of stakeholders Keep informed periodically Bi-Weekly updates Interest of stakeholders
  • 14. 14 Reason #5 – Estimates • There is more art than science when most team members make estimates of time for tasks. • When asked for an estimate, they will usually pull a number out of the air based, perhaps, on the last time they did a similar task. • Many project managers on hearing the estimate, will add some „fudge factor‟ based on their knowledge of the team member. • A solution here is to keep historical data for all estimates. Ultimately you will have and maintain a database that will keep your estimates more accurate.
  • 15. 15 Some common estimating techniques • Historical – keep records of all estimates and use them as reference for future projects. • PERT – (Optimistic + (4XMost Likely) + Pessimistic)/6 • Three point (Optimistic + Most Likely + Pessimistic)/3 • Best case or worst case estimate You will have to determine what works in your environment.
  • 16. 16 Reason #6 - Risk • Many project managers do not manage their risks or even know what they are. • The process of risk management is not very difficult. What tends to be more challenging is keeping at it over a period of time. • Another challenge is that you may have to sell risk management to senior management. They are often skeptical of doing tasks and spending money in advance for something that may never happen. • A solution is to do risk management on a smaller, less impactful project to see its benefits.
  • 18. 18 Risk response options • Avoid – Remove the possibility of the risk occurring by removing the task or item that causes the risk. • Transfer – Move the risk over to some third party either by insuring or subcontracting • Mitigate – Reduce the probability or impact of the risk‟s occurrence by taking proactive steps. • Accept – Do nothing.
  • 19. 19 Reason #7 – Unsupported project culture • Many people do not even know what project management is or what a PM does. • This lack of knowledge sometimes transfers over to corporations who fail to understand the role. • Consequently, projects are not treated seriously enough. Schedules are handed off to junior people or secretaries, sometimes without the proper tools. • The only solution here is education, especially at the senior management level.
  • 20. 20 Reason #8 – The Accidental Project Manager • Similar to the unsupported project manager, this takes it a step further. • In this instance, an accomplished person is promoted to project manager. He may have been successful in, say, a technical role, but it does not mean he will be successful in a PM role. • The technical role may have had him relating to machines. The PM role will require that he perform the delicate balance of interpersonal skills. • As in the previous reason, the only solution here is education of both management and PM.
  • 21. 21 Reason #9 – Team Planning Sessions • Ideally, you will bring the entire team together for a one or two-day session to plan the project. • This serves several purposes. One is that it brings often far-flung teams together to meet and discuss issues. Another is that it brings much needed expertise to the PM so that she may create necessary project artifacts (WBS, schedule, risk register). • This is a best practice and as such, should be aimed for. But if you are unable to bring the team together, it can work if you create, say, a WBS and circulate it among the team. Not optimal but much better than not doing it at all.
  • 22. 22 Reason # 10 – Monitoring and Controlling • M&C is all about setting baselines, monitoring for variance and, if need be, taking corrective action. • Many people don‟t record actuals and hope that the schedule doesn‟t run over. • Merely using % complete in your schedule won‟t tell you how the actuals have affected the schedule. • You should be thinking about how to measure completeness. For one example, you can use milestones to measure progress. • This is a lot better than asking the team member for how “done” he is. How would she measure that?
  • 23. 23 Bonus reason # 11- Fixing the wrong problem. • Sometimes managers, on realizing that their projects are out of control, reach for a quick fix. • Often, they start sending people out for certifications or other training thinking that this will somehow solve the preceding problems. But while certification is good, in and of itself it won‟t solve the problem. • You have to get to the root cause of the problem to determine if it makes sense to get people trained, certified, etc. • Often the fix is not in training PM‟s but rather in having a culture that sets realistic deadlines with the right number of resources.
  • 24. 24 Actions going forward • A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. – Chinese proverb • Don‟t try to solve every problem all at once. Prioritize and attack. • One way to do this is to tell your boss you want to improve process. Then add a process improvement challenge to your quarterly objectives. So, I will incorporate change management into the company by Q2. • And if you don‟t get it by Q2, keep going anyway. Persistence will get you there.
  • 25. 25 Contact information • Jim Stewart, PMP • (781) 750-8748 (o) • (781) 223-7218 (c) • Linked In: http://www.linkedin.com/profile/edit?trk=hb_tab_pro_top • Web Site: http://www.projmanage.com/ • Blog: http://theusefulpm.blogspot.com/ • Twitter: @JimPStewart