Why Projects Fail

All projects are temporary and involve some form of change; a new building or refurbishment; new organisation structure and information systems. There are normally time and funding constraints, as well as risks to think about.

We work closely with our clients throughout the period of any project. We know how important it is to have the transparency and control of any kind of ‘change’. We always make sure all involved can stay on track and that they have a clear understanding of objectives, costs, timelines, and manageable risks.

Experience has taught us a few things about why projects might fail. The inherent risk is overrunning, either on time, cost or sim­ply fail­ing to deliver a successful outcome. Such failures are almost invariably caused by:

  • Poor project definition
    • The project owner
    • Insufficient consultation with stakeholders
    • Not being specific enough about requirements and desired outcomes
  • Lack of ownership and personal accountability by senior management
  • Inadequately skilled and experienced project personnel
  • Inadequate reporting arrangements and decision making
  • Inconsistent understanding of required project activities, roles and responsibilities

Basics for set­ting up projects

If you want change, then programme and project management is a vital component as it helps to reduce and manage risks. Depending on the project and its sensitivity you need to consider:

  • Having the right people with the right experience on board
  • The project’s place within the organisation
  • The lines of accountability and responsibility are clearly defined
  • Clearly defined processes, documented and repeatable

So that those involved in the project can learn from the experiences of others. More importantly to avoid mistakes like this:


If you’re looking for practical support and ways to set up and manage a project, please contact us and we’ll be happy to discuss the various options available for you.