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Every project undertaken is not a guaranteed success; there are many things that can and do go wrong. Overly optimistic budgets or underfunded projects can result in shortcuts or unrealistic pressures on those working on the project. Staff or resources lacking the skills to work on the project see the assignment as a fast track to promotion and may not be willing to admit they can not handle the project, projects escalated to be done quickly may result in shoddy workmanship, resources pulling on time constraints can stretch employees to thin, opposition may even exist that is looking to have the project fail - yes sabotage is more common than many will admit to.
Project Management is an essential skill and discipline. The absence of effective project management can cripple new initiatives and adversely effect the bottom line of the organization. Without adequate scrutiny Project Manager’s can easily present an over optimistic view of progress. Third party vendors can exploit weak management. Executives and even employees can sabotage unpopular imitative. There many even be unhappy outsiders: advocacy groups, unions, etc. that try to sabotage the project.
Project managers working on projects that are falling behind often under report issues in the hope that they can play catch up later on. This is easy to do especially with complex projects. They can easily take advantage of executives with busy schedules and give them a quick overview where everything is going fine on the project. In reality the project is falling apart.
The application of a sound project management methodology can help mitigate risk. However, if the methodology is misapplied, issues can be aggravated. Additionally choosing the wrong methodology for the project can be just as dangerous. Clear communication as to project goals and constraint is imperative for a successful outcome and satisfied stakeholders. Realistic expectations must be set. The key being realistic. Over aggressive projects with limited constraints usually lead to unhappy results. A poorly defined project can be a failure before it even begins.