Project Management » Online Project Management

Saving Project Ruin - A Managerial Approach to Project Management

A managerial approach to project management is always that the project team is not capable enough to complete the project successfully. However, according to John Glaser of Healthcare Financial Management, "Projects fail for many reasons, but often failure can be the result of the actions and inactions of senior leadership."

I would definitely agree with his statement. A lot of time, we just blame the project managers or leaders for not able to carry out their projects successfully but have the senior management really look at the root cause of their project failures. Here are several key factors that cause a project to fail or ruin:

Unclear purpose

If the senior management does not provide clear and precise directions to the team, it will be impossible for the project leader or his/ her team to accomplish the project goals. How can you expect a leadership that does not know their direction, will be able achieve their achieve what they want? How can you get what they want, if they don't know what they want?

Senior management imposed barriers

Most organizations are organized in departments and the leaders or managers have their own goals and objectives, but the project team is usually consisting of team members from cross-functional departments. Furthermore, a lot of departmental goals are conflicting each other. So, you will have a team full of members that have conflicting goals and how can you expect them to work towards a common project goal.

Too much organizational change

Too much of unnecessary changes in the organization will cause the project team leaders and members to feel frustrated. However, it is highly unlikely that leadership really under stands the full impact of the change and how new processes, tasks, and roles will really work.

Not listen to the hands-on project team feedback

Leadership needs to listen to the feedback of those who are waist-deep in the change and be able to discern the difference between organizational noise that is likely to occur with any change and organizational noise that reflects real problems. Effectively altering direction requires that leadership not cling to ideas that cannot work and be willing to admit to the organization when it was wrong about aspects of the change.

Andrew Cheah
Lean Management Consultant