Danger, Will Robinson, Danger!: signs of project failure

Over the weekend I decided to kill a major personal project. Pulling the plug on an IT project at the right time is important–too often it feels like we see bad projects limp along with no one willing to put it out of our collective misery. Bad projects are not just bad for our morale, they waste our time and risk our reputation. So, here are the 12 early warning signs of IT failure:

The top people-related risks:

  1. Lack of top management support
  2. Weak project manager
  3. No stakeholder involvement and/or participation
  4. Weak commitment of project team
  5. Team members lack requisite knowledge and/or skills
  6. Subject matter experts are over-scheduled

Process-related risks:

  1. Lack of documented requirements and/or success criteria
  2. No change control process (change management)
  3. Ineffective schedule planning and/or management
  4. Communication breakdown among stakeholders
  5. Resources assigned to a higher priority project
  6. No business case for the project

If I consider my personal project through this lens, then I see that I was experiencing, in the “people” section, nos. 3 & 6, and in the “process” section, no. 2 & 4. So there you go.

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