15 Nov Why Projects Fail
Half of all projects fail. But they don’t need to. How do we know? Sales Beacon has a 99.9% success rate in project managing. And here’s the secret to our success.
The Essence of Project Management
Under ideal circumstances, projects shouldn’t be unrealistic or impossible. But that’s not the world we live in.
To understand success, first we need to understand why projects fail. In the past, project management was developed with defined end products, clear dates, and identified milestones. And these projects moved through three main phases.
In the analysis phase, an expensive consulting company was often hired to do a feasibility study; scope out costs and risks; and then develop a project charter.
Then came the build phase. Based on the project charter, a project manager was hired to put together a large team and get the job done.
Finally, there’s the communication or change management phase. Change management consultants came in to ensure that everyone was on the same page and the organization was ready adapt to any changes specified in the project charter.
So here we have three separate teams with three separate backgrounds and, if everybody did their jobs, the project would come in on time and on budget. Success!
The Failure of Project Management
But this is no longer a realistic scenario. Oftentimes, today’s companies will tackle projects with reduced headcount, lowered budget, and a faster paced operating environment than in the past.
To help save money and resources, many companies try to complete these projects without hiring outside consultants and specialists to handle the analysis and change management. In “Unburden Busy Sales People,” we explained how all of these tasks are dumped on the project manager,
Under overwhelming circumstances, a 50% failure rate is understandable. A 99.9% success rate is outstanding.
who now has to wear three hats despite only being trained to wear one.
On top of all this, many projects launch with unachievable timelines. Rather than scoping the work that needs to be done and basing the end date on this, most project managers find themselves handed an aggressive deadline based on the need for a year end announcement, to look good in a meeting, to pump a stock price, or any number of reasons that have nothing to do with project deliverables.
Furthermore, the project manager might only have 50% of the budget that’s needed or the project scope — in terms of what is being rolled out and when it’s being rolled out — might constantly change. Under these overwhelming circumstances, the project manager is left to figure out how to deliver a win.
Under these types of conditions, a 50% failure rate is understandable — and a 99.9% success rate is outstanding.
The Path to Success
It’s no secret that projects are more successful when experts in analysis, building, and change management are all
Days of the Week helps keep everyone on track, makes sure everyone is on the same page, and keeps people accountable.
brought onboard. Sales Beacon trains managers in all three areas because it’s so vital to be able to juggle these responsibilities, which we call the ABCs (analyze, build, and communicate), ensuring that the whole project is handled expertly.
This mindset and preparedness goes hand-in-hand with what we call Days of the Week: a repeatable set of tasks that need to be completed each week to make sure things stay under control. This helps keep everyone on track, makes sure everyone is on the same page, and keeps people accountable.
How to Save Resources
So many times, Sales Beacon has come to the rescue of companies struggling to execute projects that are too big or complex for the project manager. One of the immediate benefits we offer is relieving overworked project managers and other talent of menial, time-consuming tasks.
High-level managers should not be doing work that other team members can accomplish. Any tasks that can be done by somebody less costly need to be delegated. For example, you should never have a senior project manager doing meeting minutes or a senior customer manager spending hours preparing a PowerPoint presentation, when either could be developing strategy.
Sales Beacon specializes in doing the impossible because of our methodology, our experience, and our expertise.
Lighting the Way
Under ideal circumstances, projects shouldn’t be unrealistic or impossible. But that’s not the world we live in. Projects fail, but they don’t have to. Sales Beacon specializes in doing the impossible because of our methodology, our experience, and our expertise.
Because we do it all within a single company, we can offer value that is beyond the scope of what was once possible. And because we do it so well, we offer a level of dependability and success that is beyond the scope of what was once imaginable.