No business is immune to the risk of failed projects. The very nature of this type of work means that things can and do go wrong from time to time.
Successful companies tend to be those that learn from their mistakes, though. If you have a piece of work that goes wrong then the best thing that you can do is work out how to avoid something similar happening again in the future.
Did You Use the Wrong Methodology?
The start point for any project is with the methodology that is going to be used to see it through to a happy conclusion. Yet, too many companies don’t put enough thought into getting this right at the very beginning of the whole thing.
There are so many differing methodologies around simply because they are each ideal for certain situations. For example, PRINCE2 involves planning extensively in advance while Agile relies on everyone working together flexibly to find the best way forward as the work progresses.
The type of project you are going to run will help you to decide what methodology is needed. Once you fully understand a few different methodologies you will feel more comfortable about making the right decision every time.
What Extra Training Is Needed?
Did things go wrong simply because there weren’t enough relevant skills in the team? This is a common problem, as often the lack of skills isn’t something that is noticed until it is too late to do anything about it.
There are certain types of training that everyone needs to get, such as PRINCE2 Cardiff and Agile training, depending upon the methodology that you plan to use. After that, it is vital that you work out what training is needed in advance of each new project kicking off.
Over time, you will want to build up a multi-skilled team that can handle any sort of project. However, in the early days you need to put a lot of thought into what extra training is needed before things really pick up.
Do You Need More Resources?
Another common reason for project failure is a lack of resources. Was the team not big enough? Were there not enough computers or desks for everyone to work together at the same time? These might seem like issues that couldn’t crop up but they have ruined plenty of projects over the years.
There is no way that you should start any new piece of work before working put whether you have the resources needed to complete it. This means that you can get started knowing that everything you need is in place before it becomes too late to make any changes.
This should be part of your planning stage. Don’t forget that additional resources being added means that more of a budget is needed too.
Was the Scope Too Ambitious?
Scope creep is one of the biggest fears of all project managers. This is when a project keeps on growing until it gets completely out of control. It is something that can easily happen on any sort of project if you aren’t careful.
In other cases, the initial scope might have been just too ambitious in the first place. It is easy to get carried away and try to fix more than you can possibly manage on your projects. This can also happen when the project manager goes out of their way to try and keep everyone happy.
By taking some time to understand what went wrong in the past you can look to stop it from happening again in the future.