You’re not alone. Every business owner goes through this phase. Running a business has a very steep learning curve which most entrepreneurs have difficulty traversing. Even successful business owners go through phases where they run into a series of business project failures.
However, business project failures typically plague new business owners, regardless of how much experience they have in the fields that they’ve chosen. If you’ve been resolving with business project failures only for new ones to crop up again and again, then the most likely reason is that you’ve not taken care of the basics. Most business project failures can be traced back to a small set of causes and mistakes.
Therefore, if you’re asking why business project failures are plaguing your business, then perhaps you need to refocus and resolve these causes and mistakes at their roots. What mistakes need to be avoided to keep business project failures at bay? Here are some answers.
Overeager Business Project Goals
If there is one thing that most new businesses try to do, then it is trying to do too much too soon. In other words, most businesses have too many irons in the fire at the same time. As is obvious, a business trying to do too much has multiple, digressing business project goals.
It is these multiple, digressing business goals that can be one of the prime culprits for business project failures. The reason for this is twofold. Firstly, it makes it impossible for the business to focus on any one thing for an extended period of time. Employees and teams flit from one project to another in their bid to keep current with all of them. Effectively, the achievement of all the business project goals gets delayed together,
Secondly, multiple, digressing business project goals may include objectives whose elements clash. Consider a new business making a switch from an in-house physical document storage system to an off premise cloud storage system. If this business has active, running projects for clients, then it should ideally not try to conduct a switch of its document storage systems.
It is highly likely that objectives of one project are going to impinge on the other. For example, if one of the objectives of the document storage systems project is to digitise all the files in a filing cabinet, then these objectives could clash with the client project whose files are kept in that filing cabinet.
This is an extremely simplified example of how business project goals can clash to create a number of business project failures.
Limited Project Management Discipline
There are two schools of thought with employee management. The first is to try to hire responsible employees, assign them pertinent project tasks, and then let them carry those tasks out according to their preferences and comprehension.
The other school of thought is to assign, govern, and monitor on a step by step basis. Both these systems work with smaller projects and smaller businesses. However, in the case of larger projects and larger businesses, the former can end up creating business project failures purely on the back of diverging viewpoints.
In fact, it should be noted that project management discipline is incredibly important to prevent business project failures. While designing the structure of the project and delegating tasks to different experts is a key part of any project, project management discipline allows the business to ensure that the project remains on track and on schedule.
Limited project management discipline can become a problem if a project manager has all the required skills for planning the project, organising the project, and delegating tasks for the project but not enough skills for monitor the project. This is surprisingly common with younger project managers who have all the skills to become great project managers but not the temperament to remain disciplined or the experience for man management.
Technological Issues Leading to Business Project Failures
Technological issues leading to business project failures could range from incompatibility between multiple components, to the novel nature of some new technology causing usage problems.
Incompatibility between multiple components within the same system usually occurs in businesses that are trying to modernise gradually, one system at a time.
Since systems are being upgraded one at a time, this can result in some compatibility aspects being overlooked up until the point when incompatibility actually starts causing business project problems and operational issues.
Technological incompatibility can occur in a wide variety of forms. For instance, it could occur between two types of systems or even their components, it could occur between the manpower and the system where the former is incapable of handling the latter, or it could occur with some external element that the business needs to work with.
The only way to avert business project problems arising out of technological issues is through proper planning and training. Planning will prevent technological systems and components from being incompatible while training will prevent employees from being out of touch with newer technologies and techniques.
Inadequate or Insufficient Resources
New businesses almost always begin with limited resources. Moreover, if there are issues pertaining to experience, then a new business may not even have the right resources. Inadequate or insufficient resources are some of the most common cause for business project failures.
Having inadequate resources is a gross error which will peg back the new business because replacing the inadequate resources with the right type of resources can take some doing. Situations involving insufficient resources, on the other hand, are very common with most start-ups.
In fact, this point is actually closely connected to the first point of overeager business project goals. Resources only become insufficient if they are expected to do too much. The trick around these types of business project failures is prioritisation. Prioritisation will allow you to allocate resources on the basis of where they are most needed. Moreover, through prioritisation, you will also be able to ensure that every resource is operating at optimum levels.
Hindered Visibility of Projects within the Business
The idea of a project is for multiple experts and employees to work together towards a common objective. However, this is only possible if every project stakeholder is kept in the loop.
It is far too common for new businesses to not pay attention to the visibility of their projects to all stakeholders. For instance, most new businesses think that it is only the business owner who needs to know the progress of each project and task. This can often lead to business project failures.
On the other hand, if the whole team knows what everyone else is doing, then it will not only help them plan their individual tasks better but also coordinate with each other in a more comprehensive and synergistic manner. Moreover, it can also be good for the morale of the team to see how a project is progressing. Better morale, by itself, will avert business project failures.
The best way to ensure heightened visibility of projects within a business is through common project handling platforms. It is possible to adopt web based or even company server based project handling platforms where each project stakeholder can be given an account.