Hard times come into every business, whether working on the field in the scorching sun or simply sitting in front of your PC in your office!
Project failure is the worst nightmare a project manager could have, as all of his planning, efforts put in by the team, time, and money invested by the company will go in vain with one negative feedback or decision of the client.
To avoid getting into such hefty situations and ensure that the projects are delivered smoothly, below are some of the corporate exercises that every manager should add to their daily work process to prevent project failures. So let’s begin..!
Imagine the worst-case scenario.
Before you jump-start any project, develop an hour or two exercises where you and your team members can sit together to discuss and analyze the prospective problems that could lead to the project failure.
Sit down with a pen and a paper, list down the possible situations like –
- what if the projects don’t run at the end moment?
- What if one of the team members steps back or is unable to make it up?
- What if the investors refuse to continue?
- What if the website goes down?
Brainstorming such situations in advance will create a sense of clarity among everyone, whether about the possible solutions and how they can work together in those difficult situations.
Adopt a premortem technique
This is a new-age technique where the process helps to identify the weak areas in the project plan. Here the team is asked to visualize that the project is completed, and it turned out to be a disaster.
Based on the imagination of each of the members working on the project, the scenarios are taken into consideration, and the project plan is revised by ticking those all areas of failure to be resolved as per the new program.
I spent some hours finding an alternate solution.s
You have a plan ready; it’s a foolproof plan with minimal chances of failure, that sounds good! Right?
But I would suggest that if you and your team could spare some time once a month to sit and discuss the alternate solutions to your existing situations and what other things can be done in the project other than that is in the plan could surely help you and your team get some innovative ideas about the same subject.
By doing this small activity, you will have some spare ideas and solutions that could work for you in an emergency.
Keep a check on your dependencies.
The most possible and uncertain factor that can lead to project failure is when it is dependent on the third person that plays an important role in the project to move further.
Hereby the third person, I mean to say any third party other than working as an in-house team or supplying the project’s resources to get it rolling. Always keep a check on such dependencies as no matter how pre-planned and perfect your plan is, but if this area of the project plan remains week, then the chances of having problems with its execution will increase.
Make a process that helps you recognize the warning signs.
Before getting into its worst position, every project shows signs that can help you know that something is not right and needs to be rectified.
Recognizing these signs is what is needed to avoid any disastrous situation. This sense of recognition can only be achieved by creating a specific work process that could quickly identify the loopholes.
This work process includes a regular revision of the project goals based on the present situation. Meet your team to update what’s happening and whether everything is working as per the plan, and if there is a need for a revision on specific aspects of the project to nullify the chances of failure.
Lastly, stop being overconfident about your plans to succeed. Having a certain level of confidence based on your previous experience in the field is good, but getting it over your head and assuming things will get you in trouble you would have never imagined.
Overconfidence often leads to a lack of inaccuracy as people tend to overlook things considering it to be done as per their vision and thoughts. But this might turn the tables for them to get into a trap that is hard to come out of.
Have confidence in whatever you have planned but don’t be lethargic to look into how gracefully it is executed to get the correct outputs.
Finding the solutions becomes easy if you know where the problem is, so if you have 60 minutes to solve a problem, try to cover maximum (50 minutes) to understand the problem and the rest 10 minutes to find the solution.
Project failures can also be prevented or handled if the loopholes and their reasons are studied well. This pre-planned vision about the probable problems can help you and your team overcome specific plan gaps that you might not have thought of at the time of plan creation. Incorporating the above-mentioned strategies before taking up the next project into action will surely help you avoid any risk of project failure and certainly build confidence among you and your team members.
James Vargas is an experienced business expert, consultant, and manager at getting Everything Delivered, a business consulting service. With the 1.5-decade corporate experience, he now shares his guidance to start-ups to grow with corporate team building activities and project delivery solutions.
Project Management Tips to Avoid Project Failure
- Free Project Management Certification Practice Test
- PMI-ACP Exam Prep Workshop and Online Learning
- Agile and Scrum Fundamentals Workshops and Online Learning