According to Stewart (7), one of the major causes of project failureis unreliable estimates. In many instances, project members use thedata from a similar project to make estimates for the currentproject they use information regarding resources and time to createa schedule for the current project. What they do not realize is thatthey are basing their schedule on unreliable guesses because thedynamics of one project are usually different from those of the next.The objectives, resources, and challenges are bound to change as aproject manager moves from one project to another. It is thereforeupon the manager to look at the historical records kept betweenprojects in order to identify any changes in the background setting.The manager should then modify the current project schedule to suitthe changing settings.
Lack of training in project management is also a major reason forproject failure. In most organizations, members of the technicalstaff who do a good job usually receive promotions to levels wherethey are legible to manage a project. However, such employees onlyhave training in their technical fields such as pharmacy andbiochemistry, but they have no training in project management. Theseemployees, who can fall under the label of ‘accidental projectmanagers’, lack the social skills that go in hand with projectmanagement. Their success in their areas of specialization gives themanagement the impression that they can succeed in running a projectas well. In most cases, the management is wrong because suchemployees end up not fulfilling the objectives of the project hencewasting time and other resources.
Due to the limited resources that are characteristic of manyprojects, managers end up over-allocating resources. In anorganization that has more than two projects running concurrently,employees tend to struggle to utilize the resources of the company(Yardley 39). Some project members may be too selfish to the extentthat they will deny the other members access to the said resources.In some instances, project members are not sure about what resourcesthey can use to achieve a certain objective. The situation gets worsewhen the manager does not have a grip on what the resources are doingall the time. In such a scenario, one group of employees could beusing the resources for something that is completely irrelevant atthe expense of the not-so-outspoken group.
In conclusion, the major causes of project failure areover-allocation of resources, lack of training in project management,and building a schedule based on unreliable estimates. Organizationsand project managers can protect themselves from project failure bydoing the following. If the manager is not sure of the providedestimates, she should outsource to people who can provide accurateestimates (Laurie 18). Regarding the issue of accidental managers,the organization should ensure that every employee who is mandatedwith managing a project has training in project management, previoussuccess in their technical fields notwithstanding. The organizationcan also organize training exercises for all project managers inorder to expose them to emerging trends in project management. Aboutthe resources, each organization should strive to acquire thenecessary resources before the onset of a project. In the event thatthe company does not have enough funds, it should ensure that it runsfew projects on the limited resources.
Laurie,Janet. "." JISC InfoNet (jiscinfonet.ac. uk) (2003).
Stewart, Jim. Top 10 Reasons .Project-management.com, 2015. Web, accessed June 11, 2016<http://project-management.com/top-10-reasons-why-projects-fail>
Yardley, David. Successful IT project delivery: learning thelessons of project failure. Edinburgh, UK: Addison-Wesley, 2002.