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What Are the Key Project Management Failures?

January 12, 2014

This is my fourth post in this series on managing projects and programs. In my last post, I wrote that most project failure can be directly related to failures in managing the project (54 percent) and handling the business aspects of the project (21 percent). In this post, I will outline what can go wrong with managing projects. Project management has to do with activities defining and controlling the IT project. 

Consider the nine focus areas below and their related clarification questions. This will give you insights into the key failures with project management. A project manager could use the list below as an informal assessment tool.  

  1. Goals: Are there clear project goals? If not, what is unclear?
  2. Scope: Is there a firm project scope? If not, is change management being used?
  3. Requirements: Are requirements known or changing but being managed? If not, what can you do to firm up the requirements or put change management in place?
  4. Dependencies: Have dependencies been identified and understood? If not, take a specific action to investigate dependencies and work them into the overall project plan.
  5. Communications: Is there a communication plan in place? If not, what is needed to establish regular communication?
  6. Awareness: Are problems being shared with management? If not, why are they not being shared?
  7. Management Involvement: Is functional management involved at the right level? If not, what can you do to change this? Is senior management participating in executive status? If not, should there be senior-management meetings or special communications?
  8. Skills: Are you (the project manager) skilled enough for the project? If not, what specific skills do you need? Can you develop these needed skills quickly?
  9. Performance Management: Is proactive management including performance measurement being practiced? If not, what performance measures could you add to make the project status more numeric and less subjective?

Is this list helpful? Can you suggest other measures based on your own project experiences?  In my next post, I will focus on the business dimension of managing projects. 






Posted January 12, 2014| Permalink

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