Top 5 PROJECT FAILURE CAUSES – Why Projects Fail? Have you ever wondered why projects fail and how you can avoid this? Read this article because I’m going to share with you 5 reasons why projects fail and what you can do about it.

Stay tuned to the end of this video too, because if you want to be a project Ninja, I have some cool things to share with you that are going to help you succeed.


So let’s get to it and go through these project failures.

1. Dodging conflict:

Sometimes it can be challenging to address conflict, but when you are a project manager and you are running a project and a bunch of people are in it on your team.

You have to address that elephant in the room immediately. If not, it spirals out of control, which then impacts your project timeline, scope, budget, etc.

So you need to address things. But you mustn’t avoid conflict. You are the manager, the project manager. That is your job to ensure that things get done and that people are doing it productively.

2. Team Expectations:

Team expectations are vague or unrealistic, so it is critical. Your success as a project manager is dependent upon the team executing their task.

So it is important that you are clear and expectations are set out from day one with your team.

Here’s the other caveat too. They don’t report to you. So you have to motivate them to complete the work by the due dates you agreed to.

So it is really important and your job to check in with them, remove the roadblocks, and make sure that everybody is on the same page and that is going to help out tremendously.

And if you can do that, that’s a big part of why projects fail because people are not clear.

3. Poor Communication:

So as a project manager, it’s your job to present all the communication for the team. Now one of the problems I see all the time is that it’s only said once. So this poor communication, the answer is over-communicate, people get distracted.

You can be in a meeting and all of a sudden their phone is vibrating and they are not hearing anything you said or you have been given information, but they could be checking email.

Poor Communication Leads to Project Failure
Poor Communication Leads to Project Failure

Who the heck knows it happens?

Even if you have a rule of saying, please don’t do that. So it’s really important to over-communicate, ensure that you’re constantly reinforcing your messages and repeat, and check in with your team as well.

Can you please let me know, did you understand what I was asking? Are you good with that date?

Get them to reply to you. That’s just going to validate what you are looking to have done and all parts of communication.

4. The Non-Project Manager:

So I am going to put a little disclaimer in here or preface to say, that this is not the fault of the non-project manager.

What happens is, people are successful at what they do. So all of a sudden they get promoted or they are asked to run this really large project, but they may be an accountant.

Still, they are being asked to run a project and it is the fault of the leadership because they don’t understand that project management is a skillset.

It’s those skills that you need to run successful projects. So what happens for non-project managers is that they don’t have the skills, they’re trying to scramble.

They always feel like they are behind the eight ball and as a result not give the team what they need, whatever that may be, communication, conflict resolution, documents, plans, etc.

But if you can understand that, if you get thrown in that position let me know in the comments below if you ever have been thrown in that position.

There are things that you can do, you can understand the basics of project management. They are usually high profile. You want to do a good job on them and that’s why non-project managers have been put into that role.

Then guess what?

If your leadership team is not going to set you up for success, then you need to set yourself up for success.

5. Critical project failure:

Poor risk management or new risk management. Organisations and individuals often don’t think of risk because they usually get a project and are just moving forward, but I promise you, the risk is part of a project.

They do happen and you need to be managing these. Even if you just do a simple kind of analysis like what would be some risks that are going to happen to this particular project, you will be surprised.

One of the biggest risks I see over and over again is, my team members are being pulled onto different things and so I’m not going to have the committed time that I am supposed to get from them.

That creates a big risk to the project’s success, particularly the timeline, right? Happens all the time. If it did for you, let me know in the comment below.

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So this becomes important because if you know this to be true, then you need to put some sort of mitigation and contingency plan in place and you want to do this at the beginning of the project with your sponsors and senior executives, have them own this.

This is a risk that you are identifying, that’s your job, but you need to get help in regards to resolving it.

So it’s a team activity, look at those risks and Don’t ignore them. It will bite you in the arse.

Now that you know the top five reasons why a project fails, guess what? There’s more. Let me know if you have experienced any of these failures or if you are doing them.

I would love to hear from you. I read the comments and reply to you if you have any questions about the failures that you are experiencing on that note. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook.


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