The subject of project implementation is no stranger to me. Working in the IT industry, and more specifically in a Software House, I deal with projects on a daily basis, those commercial (technological), as well as internal.
As I understand it, a project is nothing more than a set of activities carried out in order to deliver a final version of a product in accordance with the initial assumptions, within a certain timeframe, in team cooperation. Although we usually expect that the project of which we are a part should be successful, there are also situations when it fails. There are many factors that can affect the success of a project. I want to look at them a little more and analyze them more.
Table of Contents:
1. Inadequate preliminary analysis
The project objectives are too broadly defined, and the final vision is not confirmed with the client. As a result, the recipient and the implementer will have different design assumptions.
The requirements provided by the ordering party are ill-defined, not all of them are included in the consultation, or they are too general. If not all needs are taken into account at this stage and reported during the course of the project, it can cause a delay in the work, the need to change the strategy, or financial losses (in the case of paid projects). It is important to compare expectations with technical capabilities at this stage and answer the question of whether they are realistic to meet. It is also necessary to have close cooperation between the principal/recipient and the contractor.
There is no brainstorming session with the client/recipient during which assumptions, possibilities, plan of action could be discussed. It can be held in the form of UX workshops, thanks to which we will approach the topic of a potential project in a strategic way, taking into account, for example, market conditions, target personas, techstack/tools needed to implement the assumptions, profiles of people who should be part of the project team. With such meetings, we will be more confident that the project will be successful.
Depending on the project at hand, there are times when competitive analysis and market research are not properly done, or not done at all. Such oversight can result in the completed project not being successful for the sake of not being able to stand out from the competition, or audience personae being ill-defined.
Incorrect research of tools and methods that will help the project. These may prove to be inadequate to meet technical and implementation needs.
Lack of a project roadmap, i.e. a detailed breakdown of the stages of the project, the people involved in the process, the budget needed to complete the project, if any, the duration of the project.
2. Incompetent Project Manager
A PM dedicated to a project lacks knowledge of project management and prior experience in the context of leading a team, managing work progress, keeping an eye on the schedule and project budget.
The project manager has very underdeveloped soft skills, is unable to motivate the team, diagnose problems, has difficulty building trust from team members, and lacks leadership skills.
Frequent changes of PM on a project are also a big problem. A project manager who joins in the middle of a project has problems understanding the vision and goals, business and technical requirements, which can jeopardize further work on the project and meeting project deadlines.
3. Lack of a well-chosen project methodology
While working on the project, there is a lack of any rules, recommendations for the team. - The project management methodology is not selected or is unsuited to the specifics of the project. There is chaos during the work, no meeting ceremonies, no summaries of project phases and flashbacks to them.
4. Poorly placed project team
Individuals who, although working on the same team, do not work on the joint implementation of the objectives. There is no cooperation between them, orientation towards the same goal, and motivation is at a very low level in them. Conflicts can arise that hold up the work of the entire team. At this point it is easy to see the importance of the role of a competent Project Manager on any project.
The project team is formed by personae that do not complement each other in terms of skills and knowledge by which there is no possibility of implementing the project at the appropriate level with the assumed quality.
5. Inadequate involvement of the ordering party
The contracting officer does not get involved during project implementation when there is a need to consult on the results/functionality/progress of the work.
The contracting officer reports sudden project needs, makes unplanned changes, so that the team experiences frustration and planned milestones are impossible to achieve.
6. Bad pricing, floating costs
The estimate made during the analysis phase is too low, which generates problems during the work.
In the case of the development of a given project, unplanned but necessary tasks take place, which, as a result, increase the cost of the work.
Inaccurate project pricing at the business consultation stage - determining how much it will take to work on a particular task/functionality is difficult, and often setting a buffer can protect against failure.
Incompetent Project Manager does not inform the ordering party about budget deviations, which can lead to a decision to stop work and terminate cooperation with the executive team.
7. Lack of risk management
The Project Manager in charge of the project does not develop action plans for the emergence of risks, does not diagnose problems, and successively does not take steps to solve them. There are two ways out of this situation, the project may end in total failure, or with risk management it may be completed to an acceptable but not full extent (according to all assumptions).
In summary, project failure can be due to many factors. To prevent this from occurring, it is necessary to conduct a thorough preliminary analysis, select a competent project manager, use an appropriate project methodology, assemble a well-matched project team, properly engage the contracting authority, establish accurate pricing and effectively manage risk. Attention to these key areas allows well-run organizations to increase the likelihood of successful project implementation. However, project success issues are often the result of experience gained over the years. Therefore, it is worthwhile to draw relevant lessons that can pay off appropriately in the future.
Learn about the progress of Railwaymen's leading projects
Railwaymen is a company that specializes in delivering innovative and efficient software solutions for businesses. We have a number of leading projects that are making significant progress in their respective industries. These projects include e-commerce platforms, mobile applications, and web-based software. If you want to learn more about the progress of these projects, you should visit the Case Studies section on our website. There, you can read in-depth about how RWM solutions have helped our clients achieve their business goals and stay ahead of the competition. So why not take a look and see how Railwaymen can help your business too?