41% of Projects Still Fail: Good project managers always plan for failure
Recently, Kickstarter an internet platform developed to assist entrepreneurs fund their projects by recruiting investors online, has confirmed the reality that after 17 years since the first Chaos Report was published, the knowledge of failure has done little to change the grim statistics associated with project success.Â According to a recent article, 41% of projects on Kickstarter fail. Â So if projects are likely to fail, why bother planning for success in the first place? Â Seasoned project leaders understand that project planning is more than developing a detailed Gantt Chart with accurate timelines and reasonable workloads. Â Good project planning is as much about planning for negative results as it is in delivering on project goals.
Time and time again history has proven that there is a high risk in project failure.Â The reality is projects are inherently unpredictable.Â There are too many anomalies within projects that project leaders are just unable to prepare for.Â Whether it be volatile economic conditions or unexpected customer changes, project leaders will be faced and regularly challenged with managing the unmanageable. Â In fact, the best way project leaders can plan for risk within their projects is to put themselves in the place of those who regularly invest and fund the projects they manage.Â Whether it be venture capitalists, angel investors or Kickstarter investors, risk versus reward is always carefully calibrated and evaluated.Â Similarly, superior project leadership understands that a project’s success is heavily dependent on thinking through and planning for both inevitable failures and successes that will ensue.Â The right planning strategy can mean the difference between tipping the scale to success versus the side that will result in a negative outcome. Â With this knowledge, issue tracking, change management, and risk management must be an integral part of a project manager’s ongoing game plan and toolbox.