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How To Tell If A Project Will Crash And Burn

As we recently noted, project managers have a great many fears. From risks to team issues, supervisors are always worried about little things that will snowball and ultimately lead to disasters. While most leaders understand how to combat problems, many are nervous about what happens when they can’t stop the worst from happening.
But the most terrifying element is failure, which swings like the sword over Damocles’ head. Project managers are rightfully terrified of unsuccessfully working on assignment. Unfortunately, failure is a part of life that everyone has to deal with at one time of another.
The good news is that you can keep your batting average somewhat high by watching out for warning signs and minimizing as many risks as possible. Let’s take a look at what you should keep an eye out for so you’ll know whether your project is heading toward failure.
No direction
In a report for ComputerWorld, Paul Glen pointed out that when there’s insufficient or inconsistent direction, a project will likely fail. The former is likely the lesser of these two evils as managers can determine how they should move forward with an initiative when the client fails to do so.
The latter is a bit more difficult to overcome as it means that the production team will have to change its approach midstream and go back to adjust the parts that have already been completed. This means the staff will likely waste a great deal of time and won’t be able to meet its deadline.
The only way to deal with changes in direction is to speak with the client and explain that it may not be feasible to meet the new demands. Further, project managers should try to extend the timetable so that their contributors have sufficient time to adjust to the updated guidelines.
Both of these warning signs can lead to failure on every project. If you can catch either of them early on, you’ll likely be able to keep everything running smoothly in terms of production.
Beyond on your understanding
Fearing what you don’t understand is normal, but when you know nothing about a project you’re supposed to work on, you should take that as a huge red flag and start developing solutions.
According to an article Dr. Harold Kerzner recently wrote for Business 2 Community, many enterprises are taking on complex and risky projects out of sheer necessity. However, this practice can hurt managers and employees as they’ll have to deal with subject matter for which they lack experience.
There are a few steps you can take to avoid this problem. First, you can explain to your employer what fields you and your staff are most comfortable with so you’re never given anything overly difficult.
Additionally, you should consider adding new employees to your team so that you won’t fail if you’re assigned something that you’ve never dealt with before. In this case, you’ll have to cede some of your control to your workers and defer to their expertise to ensure that everyone is on track.
What’s required
You know you’re in trouble if you don’t know what’s actually required of you. TechRepublic’s Anthony Mersino someone should be regularly checking what you’re expected to do and updating it when necessary. If the requirements list is constantly changing and you don’t have sufficient time to adhere to it, the project will likely fail.
This why it’s so important to have a detailed kickoff process for every initiative. There’s no such thing as too much planning. In fact, the more you strategize and prepare, the fewer hurdles you’ll have to come down the road.
Before you do anything, sit down your client and discuss what they want down the most minute detail. The smallest points can cause the biggest headaches if you don’t account for them now.
Further, you should do your best to determine what you’ll need to complete a project. From staffing and funding to tools and a reasonable timetable, you need to set your own requirements so you’ll be able to move through each phase of an assignment without any hiccups.
Watching out for these warning signs is the best way to avoid failure. Always look out for these risks so that you’ll be able to optimize your strategies and successfully complete every project.

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