Sunday, 10 May 2015

Early Warning Signs of project failure - Lack of Senior Management Support

Throughout my career I've had to help on projects giving technical advice. You can soon notice some early warning signs of an IT project running into trouble. If his/her brief allows, the consultant can assist the client by alerting to them to early warning signs of problems.

One of the most serious is a lack of top management support or commitment to a project. Typical signs of this is the absence of senior managers at key steering group meetings, or a failure of the senior managers actively tracking progress of the project. If the managers are content to "leave the project to the experts" it is a recipe for disaster.  During the life of a project challenges will arise which need the active involvement of the business for business decisions and possibly resource allocation. If the senior managers merely passively receive progress reports from project managers it may be a sign of problems.

The senior management involvement should be there right from the start of the project. This will help to ensure the alignment with the planned direction of the business. The executive can help to champion the project at Board level when resources are required. 

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