|Author : DAOUDI Samir | Context : MSc Software Engineering – IT Project Management|
The CHAOS report shows a very huge level and rate of projects failing in IT field and it might be the same for the other fields. It is important to highlight the consequences of projects failing on a company.
If the company is providing services (Such software development) and projects fail due to many reasons (Budget exceeding the estimation, non-respect of schedule or outputs that do not meet the expectations and the SOW) in this case, the company loses its credibility and the trust of its different customers, which might lead to the whole bankruptcy of the company.
If the project is conducted for internal needs (ex, IT department starting a new projects for upgrading some company’s software-applications), if the project fails within the company, the Project manager might be under a huge pressures, in addition to the different teams and the faith relationship between the management and the IT department might be affected (Spiess & Felding, 2008).
Behind every project failing, not only customers are unhappy, but also resources, time and budget are all affected, and the main reasons of project failing are Budget and Schedules. The triple constraints show clearly that any axe getting affected affects the others. It is important to have a good analysis and estimation of resources’ requirements, budget and time schedule. However, this is not enough; in fact controlling and measuring how far the real values are from the initial expectations is mandatory and should be conducted regularly (Schwalbe,2011).
Project might be exposed to different conflicts, these conflicts should be resolved and solutions that are suitable for both parties. When I say suitable, I mean solution that would not have a big impact on the project and might not put too many pressures on any side. The conflicts might occur between the stakeholders and the company providing the project, this kind of conflicts is considered external conflict, but other internals can also happen between team members themselves or the team members and the Project Manager and the ways dealing with each conflict might vary (Spiess & Felding, 2008).
The internal conflicts are in general the result of resources’ affectations or overloading; in this case it can be really easy to handle and deal with this kind of conflict. However, the external conflicts can be more difficult to resolve. One of the most critical conflicts is the schedule. Customers rarely accept delays in deliveries and rude complaints might be the starting of very hard and difficult conflict.
The delays might be caused different reasons; here is a list of some possible risks that might disturb the project:
– Human resources suddenly became unavailable (Sickness, accident, death …etc.)
– Issues with non-human resources (delays in receiving specific material and software).
– Changes in the project requirements (which is the most undesirable thing that might happen during a project).
– Incorrect estimation of project requirements or tasks’ duration.
These are some of the most important project schedule issues’ reasons. The last one (the incorrect estimation) is the most frequent one, which can be the result of quick analysis or un-experienced project manager with the project’s type(Jones ,2007).
Why delays are the most important reasons of conflict?
When the project manager or the customers notice sort of delays in the project advancement, a lot of pressure is applied on the different team members and this might affect seriously the quality of the project. If this is not the case, the project managers might require additional resources to add to the existent ones, which might require additional budget.
In both situations (affecting the quality of the project or adding extra budget) the customers might not accept the situation and serious conflicts could be raised and if not properly manager, the whole project might fail and the company can pay for that from its reputation and marketing image.
– Kathy Schwalbe (2011). Information technology, Project Management. ISBN: 978-1-111-22175-1.
– Richard Jones (2007). Project Management Survival: A Practical Guide to Leading, Managing and delivering challenging projects. ISBN: 978-0-7494-5010-6.
– Wolfgang Spiess, Finn Felding (2008). Conflict Prevention in Project Management: Strategies, Methods, Checklists and case studies. ISBN: 978-3-540-77436-5.