Why Do Projects Fail?
In today’s high level of competition and tough economic circumstances, a business needs to be performing to its very best ability in order to survive. This means offering customers or clients precisely what they’re looking for at any given time, and with this comes the need to adapt. A considerable amount of time, effort and money goes in to any change management project, so why then is it reported that 2 in 3 fail? Even more concerning is that this is across all industries. There are endless reasons why any given project fails, but we’ve taken a look into just a few key causes.
One basic, but often overlooked reason is that there simply wasn’t a need for the change in the first place. An example of a project that has run over schedule and acquired a degree of criticism, is the creation of electronic patient records to allow those who fall ill in another part of the country to speak to a doctor there. Not a bad idea in itself, but when the NHS were asked how many people find themselves in this situation, they didn’t know. In other circumstances, it is clear that a change is needed, yet sometimes it is the wrong change that is implemented. Either way it highlights the importance of thorough planning through project management, researching everything from the costs involved to expected timeframes and the impact of the outcome, comparing this with where your business stands currently.
This ties in with another overstated, but under accomplished area: communication. Before you even think about getting any project underway, it is important to reflect on how the changes affect each specific group of people. As well as stakeholders and those most directly involved in the project, your whole staff should be considered in your plans. They may be affected in a number of different ways, including working hours, environment and new opportunities that may arise. By encouraging their input, not only might you discover some brilliant new ideas, but you’ll likely boost morale too. Finally of course, there is the impact on your customers, both immediately and in the long term.
If all other areas of your project have been well thought through, organised and researched, it may be your project managers that aren’t working. Perhaps you have employed the wrong people for the job, or made a common mistake and transferred someone particularly good at their current role to be in charge of the project. This is all very well but without the correct support and training, you’re not only setting yourself up for failure but you risk losing an employee who excelled at their original job. Whilst it makes sense to use the talents of those already familiar with your company and clients, it is important to make sure they are qualified for the position.
PRINCE2 is a globally recognised project management method. Attending an accredited PRINCE2 course provides the individual with the opportunity to develop the necessary skills and knowledge to implement and complete a successful project, and gain a recognised certification. ILX also provide a full range of best practice learning solutions in portfolio, programme, project and IT service management.
It is important not just to invest time, effort and money into a new project, but to do so wisely.
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