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10 key points why a web development project fails

30th Mar 2016Posted by Admin

We have been managing projects nearly a decade now. This long tour was a learning curve for us that taught us a first hand experience how to efficiently execute and deliver a project. On the flip side, we learnt why a project fails. Here is what to got to know from our experience.  

  • Understanding the scope: Project scope is the sum of total work you are going to do and not going to do in the project. It is important to break down the work into small task, i.e. work break down such as creating statement of work. This can be achieved discussing with the entire team. In maximum of the cases it has been observed that team does not understand the scope well.Solution is to have rigid defined scope upfront and a rigorous change control process in place.

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  • Improper planning or zero planning at the inception phase: No project planning and initiation phase at all. It has been seen due to continuous schedule work pressure people does not plan properly. As a result -
  1. Wrong estimation of efforts, project budget.
  2. Unclear roles and responsibility leads to confusion and gaps.
  3. No milestone and deadlines are set.
  4. Un-prioritize requirements resulting in team focusing on lower priority task.
  5. Change request are handled informally without analysis.

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  • No risk management: Failure to think ahead to foresee and address potential problems. Every project is unique and hence, has uncertainty. When we try to qualify and quantify that uncertainty, we call it risk. Once, identified the risks, then we can decide on how to respond (e.g., mitigate, avoid) those specific risks that should occur.

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  • Improper stakeholder management: A project manager need to identify the stakeholder i.e. identifying everyone affected by the work and its outcome. Once the PM know who they're stakeholder he can develop a strategy to deal with them, i.e. is PM needs to communicate frequently and engage each of the stakeholders.

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  • Inadequate resource: Often there are too few resources working on too many projects at the same time. In conjunction with that, managers don’t seem to have a grip on what their resources are doing all the time. Team members are left to figure out for themselves what projects they should be working on and when. Better is for managers to meet weekly to discuss resource usage perhaps using a spreadsheet to track.

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  • Proper communication: Communication is an art and plays a vital role. Many people on a project will know the project manager only through his or her communications. And they will know him by how his voice comes across over the phone or especially by how well-written his emails are. If the project manager is not a clear unambiguous communicator, chaos and confusion will ensue. Solution to overcome the above scenario -
  1. Share valuable information before client realizes it.
  2. Do not be afraid to ask question.
  3. Avoid assumptions and use of jargons while communicating.
  4. Do more listening than talking.
  5. Always be responsive.

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  • Unrealistic time frame: Estimates are very often just guesstimates by team members who are trying to calculate duration of tasks based on how long it took them last time. This may turn out to be totally accurate or may be completely wrong. And if wrong, leads to a flawed schedule and increased risk. Historical records kept between projects helps solve this.

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  • Setting up expectation: This completely depends on the PM. PM is responsible for managing stakeholders expectation. In most of the case it has been observed that the stakeholder are non technical and have wrong perception of doing things. Here the PM has to guide and set their expectation before time.

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  • Quality: We will have to ensure the quality of the product. Do not mix testing with quality, testing is just a part of quality management. Plan appropriate review/test/checkpoints to verify the quality of the product which is being produced.

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  • Decision making & introducing accidental project manager: This is similar to but not exactly the same as the unsupported project culture. In this instance, what typically happens is that a technical person (software developer, chemist, etc.) succeeds at the job. Based on that, gets promoted to project manager and is asked to manage the types of projects they just came from. The problem is they often don’t get training in project management and may well lack the social skills the job calls for. And so they flounder and often fail despite previous successes.

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