If a project has gone wrong and some aspects such as schedule and budget have gone far from being planned, then this is an obvious sign that the project has the possibility of failing. These warning signs were probably just there at the start of the project but unfortunately, nobody has figured out a way to discover it and find ways to prevent it from happening.
- Lack of planning. A project without a plan is doomed to fail. Processes cannot be performed according to how everybody wants to do them at any time. Expenses need to stick to a limit. Everything has to be on schedule. There is a need to plan how to do the processes, set a budget for the expenses, and more. Planning is a vital tool in project management. Without it, projects have a high tendency to fail.
- Improper communication. If the documented requirements are vague and unclear, this is an early indicator that the project might fail because the stakeholders and the customers might not have a common understanding of the deliverable. Likewise, if the team doesn’t have an appropriate communication tool to use, there is a chance for the project to fail.
- Scope modifications. While changes in scope requires that the project team become flexible enough to undertake revisions, careful consideration must be exercised. An increase in the scope might give the team a hard time especially if the project is due in a short period of time.
- Insufficient resources. A big project would obviously need a high budget. Likewise, if there is a reduction in resources this would surely affect the performance of the team. Less manpower means more time to finish the job. Lower budget will affect the quality of the deliverable.
- Wrong forecast. An essential aspect in project management is that the project manager needs to have the ability to estimate accurately. If the forecast is poorly developed and lists a very low budget, the team will have difficulty in keeping up with its budget.
- Lack of change/risk management process. Since there is no assurance that the conditions will be smooth throughout the project, uncertainties can happen that can increase the probability of project failure.
- Mismatched expectations. Misunderstandings due to wrong expectations can cause missed project targets that eventually cause delays in the completion. Rework can also cause additional expenses.
- Poor management. When a project manager doesn’t make a decision or delays it, this is one sign of poor project management. Also, when the manager lacks the training and experiences, he couldn’t perform his job well and can result in a failed project
Project managers who can tell when their project is failing, need to be ready to fix the problem, try to analyze the cause and find solutions to correct what has been wrong. Do something in order to improve the performance of people in the project. There is a need to educate the project team members especially in terms of risk management.