Learning from Troubled Projects

Before we review the common traits of many successful projects, there's a lot to be learned from "less than successful" projects. From my experience, the reasons for project troubles can be generally classified in two groups: organizational-level issues and project-level issues.

One of the key differences in the two groups is the level of control that the project manager has over these factors. For project-level issues, the project manager has tremendous influence on these matters. In most cases, the project manager can either avoid the issue or take action to resolve it if it does occur. For organizational-level issues, the project manager cannot generally "fix" the problem, but the project manager can certainly have influence on them by asking the right questions, anticipating the associated risks and issues, focusing extra efforts to compensate for the issue, and developing contingency plans to minimize the impact on the project.

Also, please note that these issues are not exclusive. In most cases, there is overlap, and if you have one of these factors present in a project, you will generally have others. Table 3.1 summarizes these issues, gives specific examples of each and notes what type of issue it is (organizational, project, or both).

Table 3.1. Common Reasons for Troubled Projects


Project not aligned

Lack of management support

Lack of stakeholder


Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

Get My Free Ebook

Post a comment