It is crucial to employ project mangers with the experience to spot the symptoms of a faltering project. Without this experience, a faltering project is sure to evolve into a failed project. In this article, we outline the seven symptoms of a faltering project – symptoms that should be watched for diligently and acted upon if they exist.
1. Project Milestones Are Missed
2. Your Project Team Is Demotivated
If the senior members of your project board or your project team members are becoming disinterested or lacking commitment, you’ll find that momentum disintegrates. Soon, the resources needed to meet project milestones will become unavailable.
3. Communication Is Poor
Communication is key to engaging project stakeholders. It is essential to foster the collaboration needed to bring projects to a successful conclusion. Your project team must understand their role and the contribution they make, as well the tasks they are expected to undertake. Senior users and the customer must be kept informed of issues. If communication is failing, the project will collapse.
4. Inconsistency in Management
Do your project sponsors, senior users and the customer keep changing their minds? Project teams need a steady course to steer. If the goal posts keep moving, you cannot expect the project to be delivered successfully.
Similarly, if the business and the project management team fall out of alignment, the project could be terminated prematurely.
5. The Need for Excessive Overtime
A sudden need for excessive overtime is often a sign that your project is falling behind schedule. It could also be a sign that the scope of the project has changed unexpectedly. In both cases, the underlying need for overtime is usually that the project has run into problems.
6. Project Team Members Are ‘Stolen’ from the Project
Your project may not be faltering. It could be that your project is so far ahead that others are able to ‘steal’ your project team members to work on their projects. If this happens, be careful. A project whose resources are depleted is more susceptible to failure.
7. Project Issues Aren’t Getting Resolved
Issues are part and parcel of project work. But if the number of issues is growing faster than they can be resolved, the project will eventually grind to a halt.
Don’t Delay in Tackling the Symptoms of a Faltering Project
If you notice any of the above seven symptoms creeping into your project as it progresses, you must act immediately. Failing to do so will lead to the failure of a project that could otherwise have produced the successful outcomes anticipated when it was first considered and started.
Failed projects leave teams demoralised, and cost time, money and effort. In our next article, we examine seven tactics to get your faltering project back on course. In the meantime, to ensure your project never veers off course, contact Your Project manager: