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So, Your Business Project Failed… How Can You Learn from It?

So, Your Business Project Failed… How Can You Learn from It?

It can be challenging to deal with failure in any context, but in the case of your workplace projects and other efforts, it can be particularly harsh. This makes it all the more important to frame such failures as opportunities to grow in the future.

Let’s discuss six reasons an initiative may fail and the lessons that can be learned from these situations.

What Can Cause a Business’ Efforts to Fail…

…and what can be done to avoid these situations moving forward?

As the saying goes, know thy enemy.  Understanding why an initiative is likely to fail makes it easier to resolve those reasons and makes success more likely an outcome.

Inadequate Planning
There’s another saying that applies here, actually, from Ben Franklin: “Those who fail to plan, plan to fail.” Without a detailed plan to guide your efforts, you and your team will be more prone to various issues—miscommunication, mismanagement, and the like—making your success less likely.

To fix this, you need to prioritize planning your initiatives, breaking down and delegating each task, complete with a time frame and foresight into potential obstacles. With a plan like this, you are more likely to succeed simply because more is being anticipated.

Separated Coworkers
Whether your team members are separated by distance or department, collaboration between your business’ various teams is important. If it doesn’t happen, valuable insights and updates are less likely to be shared, and failure becomes increasingly likely.

This siloing of teams needs to be avoided, so regular all-hands or multi-department meetings and the heavy encouragement of collaboration will help you keep the lines of communication open. This will help identify issues and obstacles faster and allow them to be mitigated before they eliminate your project’s chances of success.

Lacking Leadership
Someone must take charge of any business activity to keep things on track. Without someone calling the shots, there simply isn’t the clarity needed for a project to progress and come together effectively. Failure becomes increasingly likely whenever something is delayed because nobody signed off on it.

Naturally, the best way to solve this problem is to delegate someone to run point. By putting the responsibility of leadership and management in someone’s hands specifically, you empower them to ensure everyone is doing what needs to be done.

Scope Creep
Too often, a good idea or plan can grow legs and wander far beyond its original objectives. This expansion is known as scope creep. It generally causes an afflicted process to keep progressing endlessly until ultimately abandoned, as there is no longer any chance of it being cost-effective. At the end of it all, a business has spent a lot of money in exchange for little to no ROI.

To avoid this outcome, any proposed changes must be thoroughly considered to balance between legitimately beneficial additions to your current plans and ideas that should be further explored later. This will help keep you on schedule and in-budget, the antithesis of scope creep.

Failed Communication
Similar to the idea of siloed teams, it is too easy for a project to crumble if those involved aren’t keeping one another in the loop. The reason is simple: a lack of communication leads to a lack of information, which, if not corrected, will lead to a lack of success.

While it may seem obvious when viewed hypothetically, communication breakdowns are too common. This is especially true when considering how many tools are available for communication and collaboration. You must have these tools in place and know your team uses them.

Nebulous Expectations
Almost a combination of all the issues we’ve already discussed, unclear expectations of a project are one of the most catastrophic issues that can befall it and will almost certainly lead to its failure. Without clearly defined goals, people will operate while assuming different priorities, ultimately wasting time and resources without really accomplishing what should be accomplished.

This makes it essential that everyone involved with a project is fully aware of its goals and the objectives that must be reached before they are attainable. By keeping everyone in the loop and grounded, your project will be focused on success.

Failure is the Opportunity to Learn and Grow

We can help by ensuring you have the technology and support to rally and try again. Contact us today to learn what managed services can offer you by calling us at (410) 531-6727.

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