Revealing new data from a recent PM Solutions’ benchmark study shows that organizations have a lot at stake in insuring that their projects are successful. The study, “Strategies for Project Recovery,” finds that the average firm manages US $200 million in projects each year, and more than a third of those projects -- $74 million worth -- are at risk of failing. The good news is that when project managers take specific actions to overcome these troubled projects, they are successful at least 75% of the time, according to the study.
The study reveals that while there are many factors that enter into the success of project recovery efforts, the project manager is one of the most important. The full report identifies the major causes that put some projects in jeopardy of failure:
-- Requirements that were unclear, contradictory, ambiguous and lacked agreement;
-- Insufficient resources, conflicts, turnover;
-- Unrealistic schedules, too tight, overly optimistic;
-- Poor planning, based on insufficient data or details, poor estimates; and,
-- Unidentified, assumed, or unmanaged risks.
In addition, according to the survey, the most common obstacles that interfere with recovering failed projects are:
-- Getting stakeholders to accept the changes needed to bring the projects back on track-whether they are changes in scope, budget, resources, etc.
-- Poor communication and stakeholder engagement; lack of clarity and trust.
-- Conflicting priorities and politics.
-- Finding enough qualified resources needed to complete the projects.
-- Lack of a process or methodology to help bring the project back on track.
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