Project Failures

Although the techniques described in this tutorial should yield reasonably smooth and successful projects, you may be reading it specifically because you have been handed a failing project and the responsibility to fix it. This chapter is for you. This chapter is also for you if you suspect that your project is failing, although no one, not even yourself perhaps, has openly admitted yet. Generally speaking, if the project manager or a business owner thinks that the project is failing, even if other project team members deny it, then the project is indeed failing. Team members may refuse to accept that the project is not going well because they have so much invested in it. The fact is that it's usually pretty clear when a project is failing, at least from an outsider's point of view: users have lost interest, the project team is struggling, the business requirements have changed drastically, or serious technical issues have been encountered. Frequently the project faces not just one but a combination of problems. And we are talking big problems, serious problems that the team is unable to address or sometimes even to face. This is not to suggest that CRM projects fail in spectacular ways. More often it's a matter of losing momentum over time as problems pile up, unaddressed, until the project comes to an unceremonious halt. By then, it's usually too late to do anything, so always be thankful that you are intervening before the project slips from failing to failed status. If you are faced with a failing project, use a three-step recovery process: assess the situation, restructure the project, and restart it.