Project Failure is Fun!

Written by Stuart Easton

Projects fail for all kinds of reasons. For once, we're going to have fun looking at some of the causes of project failure.
But first... Project failure is a waste. It's a waste of money, sure. But it's also a waste of people's lives. When a project fails after 6 months, there is a team of people whose energy, focus and passion has just been wasted... and that's not funny at all!
If you're serious about addressing project success rates, I'd recommend you sign up for this free online summit. It's self-paced and is crammed full of great speakers who will share their experiences of making projects, programs and portfolios successful. 
I learned a lot at the summit last year and I'll be speaking again this year, but frankly I'm not sure how I got in. The speaker roster reads like a Who's Who of the leading lights in the project delivery community. 
And did I mention that it's free? 

10 Reasons Projects Fail

This is just fun, really. There's little logic to the failure modes I picked for this blog. I just browsed GIPHY  and let inspiration take me - but hopefully it will help you smile next time a project starts to go wrong...

Number 10 - Poor scope management.

You know this one. The basic idea for the project is sound, but you just reach too far and... don't quite make it.


Number 9 - Poor stakeholder communication

You know what you're doing, but perhaps there are others who should also be in the loop to avoid... accidents.



Number 8 - Projects You Should Never Have Attempted

We've all done this. The business logic appeared sound, but there was just too much unmanaged risk!



Number 7 - Poor Change Management

You've seen this one before... the project is moving along at a rapid pace, but the stakeholders just aren't ready for you to roll it out...



Number 6 - Poor Project Planning

So many failed projects could be avoided by simply thinking ahead... something this young man needs to learn!



Number 5 - Poor Communication

Between teams, within teams, between individuals... poor communication wrecks projects.



Number 4 - Wrong Person, Wrong Place

The wrong person with the wrong skill-set can derail a project quicker than most people can spell hiippoput.... hipapot.... hippopotamouse.... hippopotamus! 


Number 3 - Lack of Exec Support

I've written before about how a lack executive support can break your project. This is often because the projects you're working on aren't aligned to what's strategically important... so the exec sponsor's mind wanders.

This one deserves everything he got!



Number 2 - Juggling too Many Things

Okay, I know I bang on about this all the time, but trying to do too many projects is a real project killer. This guy was lucky to get away with just an orange in the face!

Time for some serious project prioritization.



Number 1 - Poor Risk Management

The risk register is one of the key tools of project management but it is often misused.

Which can hurt...



I hope you enjoyed the blog, but don't forget the serious message - project failure is not cool and it's time to stamp it out!

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