Why do projects fail? It’s because we do not exert enough control.

At the start of a recent project management course, I asked what goes wrong in projects. The list was interesting:

  • change of personnel
  • time slippage with deadlines not being met
  • priorities unclear
  • not having the operational capacity to do the project
  • not being realistic with the time we have
  • poor management of stakeholder expectations
  • communications breakdown
  • roles in projects not being clear
  • lack of common sense
  • natural disasters (floods)

In discussion after the exercise one person quietened the course by saying:

“Many of these are in our control. We should be exerting more control and ensuring our projects do not go wrong and are delivered more effectively”

Do you feel like this when there is a lack of on your project?

Is a lack of control in your projects?

The discussion started, and there was agreement among all of those present that control was not strong enough in a lot of the projects course participants were engaged in.

When we came to the governance part of the course this was reflected in the approach that people took in designing an overall project monitoring and control process. More control…. not less. The group were clear that this will make a significant difference to the overall delivery of projects within their organisation.

So, what stops you delivering your projects? Is control something that needs to be tightened and if yes, how?

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4 Responses to Why do projects fail? It’s because we do not exert enough control.

  1. Pingback: Why do projects fail? It’s because we do not exert enough control | #PMChat

  2. Pingback: New PM Articles for the Week of June 30 – July 6 - The Practicing IT Project Manager

  3. Hi Ron,

    I ask similar Q at the begining of trainings. In my opinion, controls are good. But the controls should come from System and processes; not from Management team.

    • Ron Rosenhead says:

      Hi Praveen, thank you for the comment.

      I would take a slightly different route. I feel that the systems and processes are there to support what management want. Hence, there are if you like, there are two approaches to success.

      Thank you again for your comment.

      Ron

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