Top 10 Project Management Challenges

by Erin McCune on March 12, 2007

in Project Management

A dismal history of failed projects

The previous post in this series featured depressing statistics demonstrating that most projects fail to meet expectations. They are either over budget, late, or fail to deliver the anticipated functionality and features.

What causes projects to fail? Why do so many process improvement efforts utilizing technology fail to meet objectives? 

Top 10 Project Management Challenges

Project Definition Phase

1. Unclear Objectives
2. Insufficient User Input
3. Vague Requirements & Scope Creep

Planning Phase

4. Failure to Plan
5. Poor Cost and Scheduling Estimation

Execution Phase

6. Skill Mismatch & Lean Staffing
7. Poor Design

Project Leadership (all phases)

8. Lacking Senior Management Support
9. Communication Breakdowns
10. Ignoring Warning Signals

Many leaders are surprised to learn that most project challenges are related to communication and organizational issues, not technology problems. In fact, only one of the Top 10 challenges is technological: Poor Design.

It is a relief, then, to discover that the means to avoid or mitigate nearly all of these challenges involve general management skills and a few proven project management practices.

The remainder of this series analyzes the cause of these process improvement common challenges and suggests proven remedies.

is one of a series of posts on project management for finance
professionals. The series features practical project management advice
and tips for driving process change using technology.

The series is archived here.

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