Project failure: A Catalyst for Success


In the last 20 years, there have been huge advances in the field of project management. The success rate of projects is not improving. More than 50% of the projects are failing to deliver the desired results. These project failure cost million of dollars to organizations each year.

The reasons behind project failure are well-known, but the organizations are failing to create an environment in which projects can succeed. It seems that organizations are failing to learn lessons from the past similar projects. Behind the failure of a project, there are several causes. Sometimes it is just single element which leads to failure and sometimes it is a combination of complex events which collectively leads to a failure

Each and every organization is well aware of the definition of success and failure of projects.  A successful project must finish within scope, time and cost. However, now organizations are moving ahead and consider quality, resources, and risk. When an early failure occurs in the project life cycle it is because of early communication among the project teams. An early project failure brings a positive change management and giving organizations a chance to come up with an alternative strategy.

PmBok considers planning process group as one of the most important phases of the project. An effective execution of the project requires effective planning. Organizations spent a lot of time in the planning, but still, most of the projects failed to deliver the desired output. According to PmBok, for a successful project completion organizations needs to give 20%-30% of their project time to the planning phase.

There is no magic involved in practicing good project management. However, it requires continuous effort and implementation of the international standards. The project team has to work hard and participate in different areas of the project in order to finish the project on time. Implementation of successful project management approach often requires support from a project management office.  Project management approach should base on;

Governance: Guidance that decisions are made appropriately with the help of the right people and with best reviews, information and audits that assure accountability.

Transparency: Correct information which supports the single vision of the truth.

Quality Assurance and Control: Ensure that the quality standards are met and provide mentoring and training to the staff.

Tracking of an early failure can save a lot of time and cost of an organization. Generally, project managers consider an early failure a chance to implement an effective strategy on different phases of the project. Often, Organizations are using standardized processes like six sigma and agile methods, which are better project management practices.

Finally, PMO, project team including the project manager have to play their role to successfully complete a project. The project team needs to develop a strategy to handle scope, time, cost and quality of a project.

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