6 Reasons Why Your Project Plan May Never Work

6 Reasons Why Your Project Plan May Never Work

Being a project manager requires you to face the fact that not all of your projects will result in success. Failures can occur, but knowing how to deal with failure is another characteristic of a professional project manager. It is good to know how to recover quickly, and salvage what you can from a bad situation.

Moreover, it is important to learn from your mistakes and use the knowledge to plan your next project even better. There are also some of the key elements that were identified as causes for project failure. So, here are six reasons why your project plan may never work.

Scope Creep

Scope creep is basically everything your project is going to include, but also everything your project will not contain. It is crucial that the scope of your project is well-defined, and that it is segmented into meaningful tasks and milestones.

In order to ensure success, you need to guard the project scope from minor changes, and to make sure everyone involved in the project is on board with your decisions, before you start. Changing the scope will create problems with both deadlines and budget, and with every minor change problems on the project are likely to escalate. To sum up, stay within the borders of the project scope.

Bad Stakeholder Management

Stakeholders are people who have vested interest in your project, and a good project manager should identify all of the stakeholders. They need to be informed of the progress on the project, and they might also be required to approve some of its elements, which is why they need to be involved before the project starts.

Luckily, not all of the stakeholders have the same level of importance, or interest in you project, so there is no need for each and every one of them to be frequently updated. Furthermore, some of the stakeholders can provide you with valuable input and they can be really helpful if they are involved and engaged in the right way.

Lack of Organization

Organization and project overview is much harder on bigger projects, especially if some tasks are outsourced to other companies. Luckily, using simple project management software, you can ensure that everyone will be notified of their responsibilities and that everyone is updated on the project’s progress. Good organization requires task distribution, documented instructions, and a platform for constant communication.

You should find a project management tool that allows you to do these things and offers a safe storage for documents. It is important that you invest in easy-to-use project management software so that all of your team members can quickly get used to it, without any prior training on how to operate it.

Lack of Communication

Understanding responsibilities, instructions and expectations is another pillar of successful project execution. These things won’t be possible without healthy communication. It is vital that everyone understands his or her role in the project and that the manager is informed of any possible hindrances and drawbacks.

Managing copious projects is not a simple task, and every team needs to pull their own weight, and to work synchronously. A good example of project failure happened in 2005, when the US government failed to avert the crisis of Hurricane Katrina.

Bad Market Analysis

Even if your project has been completed, it still doesn’t mean that it was a success. The main goal is to achieve a high return on investment and to actually earn enough profit to justify all your troubles.

Bad market analysis may result in failure, and it will also prevent other projects from being funded, due to loss of credibility. This happens in the movie industry all the time, as studios make a movie that the audience is not really interested in seeing, or one that simply goes unnoticed.

Interacting with the community or core audience should be the main source of input that determines what your project should look like. Advertising is another part of market analysis. Make sure that you track how people react to the news of the upcoming product. Are they excited? Are they willing to pay for it? What do they expect of it?

So you need to ensure that you are creating something the audience wants, also that you are not falsely advertising the upcoming product, and that you track the reaction of your potential consumers. There are plenty of warning signs that will allow you to shut the project down before it is too late.

Alternatively, you can do market analysis by relying on crowdfunding. If the people are willing to invest in your project and if you reach the necessary funding milestone, you can go through with your project.

No Contingency Plan

Finally, your plan needs to have contingencies, so that you can know exactly what to do if things go south. Identify the key players on the project that need to be available 24/7 and identify their replacements if one of them is out of reach.Find an alternative workspace if the facility you are using is not accessible. It would be useful to find outsourcing solutions that are reliable and can step in, if you cannot meet certain deadlines. Basically, this is risk management, and it is a vital part of any plan.

Well, now that you know the possible reasons for the downfall of your project plan, you can also take the necessary precautions to avoid them, and to secure the success of your future projects.

Vineet Gupta

Vineet Gupta

Technical Researcher at ProProfs.com
He started his Digital Marketing journey 5 years back and currently working as a Technical Researcher with a combined experience of over 5 years at ProProfs.com, a website offering delightfully smart tools such as knowledge base. In his free time he loves to play cricket, reading books and travelling.

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