Weak Signals Before a Project Fails

Every project has an equal chance of failure or success. Which way it goes depends on a variety of factors and aspects. Employees, processes and leadership can all have a very big influence on how a project shapes up. When a project succeeds, it is important to evaluate why it worked, so you can replicate the success for later projects. In the same way, it is important to evaluate failed projects to understand what went wrong, and make amendments accordingly to get better results going forward.

6 signals that your project is heading towards failure

Here are a few visible but weak signals that your project is heading for possible or definite failure:

  • Poor management and support from authorities – Board members or other decision makers in the company do not offer support to the project while expecting good results. One reason for this could be a manager or team leader with poor communication and management skills.
  • Absence of required skills and expertise within the team – Having a team that is inexperienced and lacks the skills required for the project at hand can affect the quality of the project and cause delays in completion.
  • Inadequate and poor communication between team and clients or end customers – Not understanding exactly what the client or customer wants can make the project team put efforts in the wrong direction, producing results that do not satisfy the client/customer.
  • Lack of adequate and essential resources – This could happen due to a variety of reasons. Management may not understand resource requirement for the project, or may divert available resources for other company projects. Lack of essential resources can affect the project’s quality, timelines and end results.
  • Lack of clarity on final goals and expected project results – If the entire team is not briefed well on what the intended goal for a certain project is, there will be a lack of coordination within the team. It will also cause team members to work towards goals that are unintended or unnecessary.
  • Lack of project management and planning – This refers to mistakes in planning various aspects of the project. Setting unrealistic timelines to finish tasks, underestimating resources required for the project, choosing people with wrong skill sets are some of the mistakes in planning that can affect the quality and outcomes of the project.

Understanding what to look for and recognizing these signals early on can help you get into damage control mode and salvage a project enough to ensure that the end results are affected as less as possible.

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