9 Reasons for Project Failures and What You Can Do About It

Let’s face it: project failure is pretty recurrent nowadays!

According to a report, less than 33.33% of the business ideas are completed successfully. Further, medium to large-sized projects are at a greater risk of failing when compared to the smaller ones.

Undoubtedly, no one wants to see project failures. But, then, different people might have different interpretations as to why a certain idea failed. For some, it might be because it didn’t meet the end-user expectations. While, for others, it might be because it exceeded the allocated budget, or might be because it didn’t meet the deadlines.

Whatever it is, a failed project is not just about the wastage of time and resources, but it also brings the team morale down.

So, what can be done in such a situation? This is what this article is all about!

In this article, we will have a closer look at various problems which practically affect the plans. Additionally, we will also discuss ways through which you can solve these problems and prevent your idea from being a failure.

Key Reasons for Project Failures?

Let’s discuss the most common reasons for project failures and how to deal with them.

1. Unsuitable Team Members

First things first, nothing can beat the importance of having a competent core team.

More often than not, what happens is that wrong people are pulled into the implementation which leads to its failure.

Let’s understand this better with the help of a simple example. Supposedly, an MNC wants to launch their online presence with the help of a high-end e-commerce store.

In order to make this idea successful, it is important to identify the core areas – front-end development, back-end development, and marketing. We cannot stress enough how important it is to choose an expert suitable for each area.

A 5 years experienced developer cannot be pushed into marketing, and a person with little or no experience in project management cannot be a great manager.

Thus, it is essential to understand the skillset of your team members properly and assign the roles to them accordingly.

You have to make sure that every person you have chosen for any particular task is capable of doing it. You can’t just handover the responsibility to anybody. While choosing team members, make sure that they can understand you and your expectations and adjust their way of working according to the priorities.

2. Inappropriate Resources

Having the right resources are critical for project success.

Considering the fact that today there are zillions of resources available for each and every task. So, how could you possibly find that one option which is a perfect fit for you? Well, mostly you can’t!

So, the better way of solving this problem is to go for the popular resources and check them one by one. Check if they are fulfilling your requirements or not.

By choosing appropriate resources, you can minimize the risk of the project failure. So, choose wisely and don’t compromise on anything.

3. Poor Planning

Proper planning is necessary to align your crew with the end goals. Strategic planning is the foundation for a project. Without an appropriate plan, your idea is just going to end as a failure.

So, how to do it in a great way? First of all, you have to make sure that you have enough knowledge and experience in planning the project. An active team participation can help a lot in this.

Right from planning, to executing, monitoring the daily tasks, tracking the progress, and closing the project – it is essential that every phase is well taken care of.

4. Unclear Objectives

Every project has some goals or objectives. Setting a goal is the first necessary thing for effective project management. Imagine a situation where you are going somewhere and you don’t know where to go. This could be a suitable metaphor for the condition when you don’t even decide your goals and start working on the idea.

Probably you can get impressive results in the beginning, but, at some point, you would realize that you are getting confused about what to do.

According to a survey, more than 30% of business ideas do not have a baseline. While another survey revealed that more than 40% of the project managers are not clear of the objectives.

In order to avoid this problem, it is highly recommended to set your goals before starting to work on the idea. Make sure to discuss all the things with your team members and be clear and honest with them and yourself.

5. Failing to Engage the Stakeholders

Do you engage your stakeholders pretty early at the implementing stage? If not, it is the best practice to engage them right now!

This is one of the prime reasons for most projects failures. As per a research conducted by the University of Ottawa, 33% ideas are failures because the top management didn’t show enough interest in them.

An active participation of the stakeholders and their involvement in the early project phases ensures that you are on the right track.

They might have critical pieces of information with them. Engaging them at the end of the project is bound to fail your implementation. You would not like to serve a cake to your customer only to find out that they wanted a pastry instead!

6. Poor Communication

Communication is the key to success. It is essential that there is a regular and frequent communication between stakeholders, project managers, and team members. This would ensure that the whole crew is on the same page.

Further, this also avoids any chances of misunderstandings. The best managers make use of a range of channels to keep their team in line. This ensures that every specialist is clear of the goals and works in the right directions, together!

7. Project Scope Is Not Well-Documented

This might sound like a really small issue, but it is important that you have a well-documented scope of your business ideas.

The least you would expect is that your team spends a week on a certain part, only to find out that it was beyond the planned scope. Such incidents waste resources, while also disturbing the whole plan and strategy.

The best practice here is to document each thing and share it with your crew. This would help you in various ways:

  • It would become easier to plan things
  • Answering the questions would become easier
  • Reporting and tracking would be simpler

8. Setting Unrealistic Deadlines

This is one of the biggest causes of most projects failures. As per a study conducted by KPMG, 60% plans are failures because they have a deadline of less than a year.

Put simply, do not commit to unrealistic and tight deadlines, as more often than not, such business ideas are bound to fail.

This is probably because setting tight deadlines pressurizes your crew. This decreases their quality and as a result, the team fails to produce an outstanding product.

9. Not Tracking Where You Have Reached

Timely tracking and monitoring are very crucial for a successful management. It is necessary that you keep tracking how far the plan has reached, and take proper management measures, as needed.

If the plan is lagging behind the deadlines, timely tracking can alert your team members and maybe you can make use of more resources.

A Quick Checklist to Run a Project Successfully

  • Choose your team members wisely and be honest with them about your expectations and objectives.
  • Pick the best-known resources and try all the possibilities.
  • Don’t overlook anything regarding the planning for the ideas.
  • Set your goals before starting to work on implementation.
  • Do approach marketing experts in order to engage stakeholders.
  • Finally, give your 100% for every part of the undertaking.  


With this in mind, it is imperative to take the right measures in the right direction to avoid project failures. As per a research, just 2.5% companies had 100% of their business goals completed within time and budget.

Thus, more often than not, companies tend to experience failures. But, this should not happen to you. This is why it is important that you keep your implementation and development on the line right from the starting. Conduct stand-up meetings, engage with the stakeholders frequently, and most importantly, keep your whole team motivated!

So, what are your views on this? How do you ensure that your project is on track? What project management steps and tools do you use? Do let us know in the comments below!

If your ideas are also seeming to end up as failures, or if you need app management development assistance, get in touch with us today!