As a famous quote states, “There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failures.” Data shows that the cost of failed projects in the year 2020 was about $260 billion. Isn’t that huge? A project may fail because of many known and unknown reasons. At times, a project may not meet your objectives, the final outcome may not be as expected, or the deliverable may not be completed on time. So, let’s look at the top reasons for project failures and the solutions to avoid or resolve them. The best way to do that is by using the right project resource management tool to streamline your project and resource management process. But first, let’s understand the top 7 reasons why projects fail.
7 Most Common Reasons for Project Failures and The Best Solutions
Establishing a project’s objectives or goals right from the beginning is imperative. After doing that, your project team should be aligned on the goals, otherwise, it won’t be possible to measure success. The objectives of a project should be clear and SMART, that is, specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. If the goals of the project are unclear or if the employees are confused, they won’t know what to achieve and the outcome will obviously falter.
Solution: Setting clear project objectives should be the first step of the planning process. The next step is to align your team members to the goals and determine a benchmark to measure their success.
Lack of resource planning
If there is no planning for resources in a project, then you may either end up spending a lot more or the quality may suffer. Resources include money, tools, equipment, employees, materials, and facilities. Without proper resource planning, your staff will either be under-utilized or over-utilized.
Projects that have poor cost estimations face budget overruns.
Solution: Proper resource planning should be done in the initial stages of project management. You can do effective planning with the help of a cloud-based project resource management tool. Such a tool also helps to track costs, utilization, and effort and plan in a more effective manner.
Lack of project visibility
You may have planned your project well but a lack of clear visibility can result in failure. Visibility means having transparency about the status of various tasks, clear communication between people and departments, robust document management system, forecasting, etc. If this is missing, no plan can be successful, and the project would derail.
Solution: Implementing the right project resource management tool enables all the resources and managers to log in and find the status of all project tasks. They can also find the availability of resources and what they have to work on. Such a tool acts as a centralized, online repository for all project documents, data, dashboards, and key information. This makes a project manager’s job easier by fostering visibility.
Ineffective communication or lack of proper communication channels
Ineffective or poor communication results in a devastating impact on your projects. This could mean missed deadlines, unhappy customers, stressed employees, etc. Ineffective internal communication leads to poor external communication, which can be quite detrimental to your business. Working in silos and not being aware of how other resources, teams, or verticals are operating can lead to a lot of misleading communication.
Solution: Identifying the points of contact for each project is the first step. Project managers should also ensure to plan regular meetings, and status updates, and ensure they have proper communication channels set up to improve the communication flow in the team. The right project resource management tool also helps in easy communication with both internal and external stakeholders. It also enables you to share data and information with relevant people in just a few clicks.
It is very important for the project teams to stick to the tasks decided in the initial project scope. However, at times, your customer may request you to add a small item or edit something and you comply for the sake of the project’s quality and the customer relationship. But this can become a trend and your team will finally be over-extended. At other times, scope creep could happen when project parameters are not well-defined at the kick-off stage and the internal or external stakeholders pressure the team to do extra tasks that were not in the scope.
Solution: Scope creep leads to project failure as the effort and cost overruns. You did not budget for the extra effort, time, or resources that were taken to complete those extra tasks. Thus, it is important to plan the scoop at the initial stages and then stick to it.
Inadequate Stakeholder Management
One of the key responsibilities of the project manager is to keep all the internal and external stakeholders informed about the status of the project. This includes timely communication about the project status. Poor stakeholder management could be because of defining stakeholders too narrowly or incorrectly. It can also be due to the leadership or executives being defensive, not taking interest in the project, or not taking ownership. On the other side, it is possible that the stakeholders are not aware of the project’s progress.
Solution: Proper communication with the stakeholders to offer them support, status updates, and insights help in efficient stakeholder management. Implementing a project resource management tool also helps in keeping the stakeholders engaged with regular updates, sharing data seamlessly, and visual dashboards.
Lack of transparency
Imagine if the team members are unable to find any data, project information, or project documentation. So, maybe you have created a robust project plan, schedule, resource management plan, and clear objectives but if these are not available easily to the team members, then they are of no use. Communicating project updates only through project status meetings becomes time-consuming. In addition, information can get missed in this process.
Solution: Using a project resource scheduling tool that stores all the important data and information in one place helps in creating transparency. Such a tool becomes the single source of truth for any project data, information, status, and process documentation.
How eResource Scheduler helps in avoiding project failures?
If you want to avoid any challenges such as project delays, and failures such as resource overallocation, ineffective hiring, dissatisfied clients, or budget overruns, choose the top-rated project resource management, eResource Scheduler. Streamline your project and resource management with this leading cloud-based resource scheduling software. Manage your staffing efficiently, attain balanced work allocation, and identify and schedule the most suitable resources for your projects. eResource Scheduler offers real-time visibility of various projects, resources, and the status of all the projects in the organization. It also assures to enhance your resource utilization anywhere between 18% to 30%. And lower the bench time to improve overall revenue. So, want to nail project resource management? Set up a free trial today to check out how this tool can benefit your organization.