Why do Projects Fail?

Regardless of efforts put in projects, they do not always end up being completed. The reasons why these projects do not see the light of day can sometimes be attributed to the actions and inactions of project managers and stakeholders. The following are some of the reasons why projects fail.

First and foremost, organizations fail at projects because they sometimes have unclear project objectives. Management set up several targets that are unrealistic to achieve due to time and budget. Many organizations get so busy trying to get the job done, forgetting the key components of success. Every project team needs time out to meet and discuss goals and strategies to reach project goals.

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Moreover, some projects fail due to problems with leadership. Failure on the part of the project manager to find the right level of oversight often times causes the project team to become unmotivated. Hence, making the project to run out of control. Another important cause of project failure is poor communication. Communication issues range from lack of defining what is expected of each member of the team and not communicating the quality requirements of the project.

When members do not have clearly defined roles about what they are expected to do, it leads to overlapping of functions. Unclear roles and responsibilities lead to confusion and gaps. This failure to set up effective communications between individuals, groups or organizations undertaking the project results in the project not being successful.

Lastly, projects also sometimes fail because those who actually perform the work are excluded from the estimation process. Estimation is one of the fundamental reasons why projects fail. When estimation is done based on insufficient information/analysis, projects are very likely to fail. Even after making an estimate, failure to make contingency plans against unknown obstacles which might be encountered can result in the project failing.

Moreover, projects also fail during the testing stage when the test environment that is configured is totally different from the target production, or operational environment in which the project’s deliverables will be used.

If you see something, say something.

To read more on Project Management topics:

Project Risk Management

Cause and Effect Diagrams 


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